The New York Jets have a void in their backfield. Here’s why Sony Michel can be the missing piece to an explosive offense.
It’s cheap labor and running backs are a dime a dozen. Which brings me to my first point, Saquon Barkley is a beast and some scouts I’ve talked too have said he’s the best running back prospect they’ve ever evaluated.
While that is certainly high praise, let’s reign it in a little bit here. With all the recent success of mid-round running backs (Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara both were third-round picks), perhaps the Jets should take a page out of the more modern playbook.
Barkley is projected to go top-10 in the draft and he’s a phenomenal talent, but there are other options for the Jets. Like Sony Michel out of Georgia. Let’s take a quick look at the stats to compare these two players:
2017 (Barkley): 1,903 all-purpose yards, 21 total touchdowns, 5.9 yards per carry.
2017 (Michel): 2,550 all-purpose yards, 17 total touchdowns, averaged 7.9 yards per carry.
Michel dominated all-purpose yards and explosive plays but did lose the touchdown conversation. Michel is projected currently to go in the second round.
NFL Insider Connor Rogers of ‘Stick to the Jets’ podcast shared this insight on Michel:
“Three down back that runs with more physicality than credited for. An elusive threat in the open field, upside as a receiver and very willing pass protector. Team captain that will be ready to step in and start right away.”
I often reach out to my sources to gauge them on players and front office personnel information. Rogers had great things to say about Michel and I included some of our private conversation above.
Adding Michel could give the Jets a pretty interesting combo of triplets. All of the backs on the roster have versatility in terms of scheme and skill set. That would allow the Jets to have so much flexibility and creativity offensively that they could even split Michel or Bilal Powell out a wideout. Or even have both of those backs on the field at the same time.
Let’s be honest, the Jets straight up need playmakers offensively, regardless of position. They haven’t had a dynamic player in so long that most fans forget what they even look like. Michel provides that home-run ability whether he’s in the backfield or out in space.
The Jets have two second round picks this year thanks to the Sheldon Richardson trade. It’s time for the Jets to really add a real player instead of a stop-gap like they’ve done the last several years at tailback.
I spent some time reading Michel’s contribution to the Player’s Tribune and in his piece he iterated how frustrating it was not being the guy on offense for Georgia. Michel learned how that just because he wasn’t starting games at Georgia, that he wasn’t a second stringer. Michel carved out a role with the Bulldogs and it worked out, let’s see if he can bring that same swagger to 1 Jets Drive.