The New England Patriots are in the rare position of being short on offensive firepower. Coming into 2018, New England has a pair of established stars in Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, while Julian Edelman is hoped to be 100 percent off of both a torn ACL and a four-game suspension.
Still, the team sustained some major losses in the offseason with the departures of Nate Solder, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and Brandin Cooks. The Patriots tried to recover, though, signing Jordan Matthews — who has since been cut — and drafted dynamic running back Sony Michael out of the University of Georgia in the first round.
Michel could be a difference-maker in New England from the jump, with limited competition in the backfield. At the SEC power, Michael carried the ball 156 times for 1,227 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior, helping the Bulldogs reach the National Championship Game. While that production isn’t expected from a rookie, Michel could be what makes the Patriots’ backfield a tough unit to deal with in 2018.
Additionally, Michel has underrated skills in the pass game. The 5-foot-11 jitterbug caught 66 passes during his time in Athens, showcasing the ability to make a play in space was a safety valve. While it’s not his forte, Michel is a willing pass-catcher.