The Patriots love to zig when everybody else zags. They absolutely love it, which is why drafting Georgia running back Sony Michel is the most Patriots move ever. Most teams these days seem to have all but agreed that the RB position is overvalued (except for the Giants). With absolute studs like Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt both drafted in the 3rd round, its no secret that you can find elite running backs after Day 1 so why waste the draft capital? So we’re all in agreement? Ok cool.
*Bill Belichick immediately drafts a running back in the first round*
Its the first time he’s even drafted a SKILL POSITION player in the first round since Laurence Maroney in 2006.
Zagging for days.
You saw it in recent years as the Patriots adopted the more commonly seen in college spread attack and hurry up offense, which all but eliminated the need for a fullback. Then most of the league gravitated towards a similar approach. Then the Pats shifted gears and started heavily utilizing a fullback in James Develin, who only made the Pro Bowl this past year. Or what about when the Patriots all of a sudden changed their offense on the fly and morphed into a two Tight End system? They proceed to wreak havoc on the league with a young Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Until one of them became a famous serial killer, but the point remains.
Sony was a beast at Georgia playing with the big boys in the SEC, where he averaged 7.9 yards per carry last year.
He’s also the guy that ended Baker Mayfield’s college career with the walkoff TD run in that epic Rose Bowl game earlier this year.
As Phil Perry points out, Sony’s ball control is a bit of a concern, fumbling 12 times in his career, but half of those came in his freshman year. The only thing Bill Belichick preaches more than Do Your Job is hold onto the football. Ball security is job security. So that’ll be something to watch. Perry also shed some light on another reason why the Pats may have fallen in love with Sony:
“But in the passing game is probably where Michel’s true value will be at the next level. He may be the best pass-protector at the position in this year’s class of backs (two hurries on 52 pass-blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus), and he’s a capable receiver (64 catches, 621 yards receiving in his career).”
The Pats love a guy that can play in pass protection. Thats your No. 1 priority. Then running the football, and if you can also catch the ball out of the backfield? Well now we’re cooking with gas. Too many times in recent years have teams been able to either stack the box or just sit back in coverage because the RB on the field was either a battering ram (Blount) or a receiver (James White). Dion Lewis was excellent as a runner and a receiver, but he’s gone so Belichick got someone who can do both.
The Patriots are the ultimate marketing arbitrage in the NFL, buying and selling where they identify the most value. Everybody devalues running back these days? Time for us to snatch up a potential stud while you’re all sleeping on him just because thats what the rest of the league says you should do.
They are the tastemakers of the NFL. They’re not trying to do business as business is done, no they’re setting the trends themselves and letting the rest of the league react. And thats why the Patriots will always be successful with Bill Belichick running the show.
Plus if you are a fan, not an NFL Draft Analyst that gets paid to scout and report on players, who gets genuinely angry about who your team does or doesn’t draft? Then you are lying to yourself because any rational human being realizes that the only thing we really know about the draft is that we don’t know shit. So just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.