Sony Michel is no Saquon Barkley. He's not going to be a top-10 pick. He very likely will slip into the second round.
But Sony Michel is an NFL-caliber running back.
The Plantation American Heritage Plantation alumnus has proven that time and again during his time at the University of Georgia despite never having the opportunity to be a full-time lead back.
Look no further than the College Football Playoff semifinal against Oklahoma as a summation of what Michel can do when he's at his best. Michel ran for a career-best 181 yards and added 41 receiving yards in that double-overtime thriller in which he went from coughing up the game to sending the Bulldogs to the national championship. On the final play of the game, Michel took a direct snap, bolted toward the sideline, weaved past an Oklahoma defender near the 20-yard line and scampered into the end zone untouched for the game-winning touchdown— his fourth of the game — before being mobbed by his teammates in celebration.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
He's hoping for a lot more celebrations like that in the NFL. He will find out his fate at some point over the three-day NFL draft which begins Thursday night.
"Not knowing where we're going to end up is what has us on our toes," Michel said at Georgia's Pro Day. "At this point, I don't think anyone who's going through this process should take it as all the work is done. They're still evaluating us whether we're on the field or off."
There are a lot of positives to evaluate with Michel.
Michel, a five-star prospect out of high school, rushed for 3,928 yards — the third-most in UGA history — and 33 touchdowns. He did this despite playing in a crowded backfield each year that at one point included the trio of Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Michel together at the same time. He set career highs as a senior in rushing yards (1,227), yards per carry (7.87) and rushing touchdowns (16).
He had 11 100-yard rushing games during his college career. Nine of which have come against Power 5 opponents. Six came in SEC play.
At 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds, he's not afraid to face defenders head on and see who the tougher football player is. But with 4.5 speed, he can also fly past defenders in open space.
Most mock drafts have him off the board by the end of the second round.
"I can only control what I can control so I'm not going to play this guessing game with myself, thinking of where I'm going to be," Michel said. "I'm just going to be myself, be the best Sony I can be and leave it in God's hands."