UPDATED: Patriots Select Running Back Sony Michel at #31 Overall

Friday, April 27, 2018


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Sony Michel

The New England Patriots selected Georgia running back Sony Michel with the 31st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday night in Dallas. 

Michel is the first skill position player that the Patriots have drafted in the first round since the selection of Laurence Maroney in 2005. 

“We think that he is a pretty good football player so we picked the player. He’s got skills, he’s athletic, he’s good in space, he is a strong runner for his size of 210, 215 pounds, whatever he is so our thing is to pick good football players that have good traits,” said Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio.

Michel will have a chance to fill the role left by Dion Lewis, who signed with the Tennessee Titans in free agency.

Michel at Georgia

In four seasons with Georgia, Michel rushed for over 3,638 yards and 33 touchdowns on 591 carries.

In his senior season, Michel rushed for 1,227 yards and 16 touchdowns to help Georgia win the SEC Championship.

He averaged 7.9 yards per carry.

Michel also has shown the ability to be effective in the passing game. In his college career, he hauled in 64 passes for 621 yards and six touchdowns in his career.

Injury Concerns 

Throughout his college career, Michel has battled numerous injuries include series knee injuries, ankle injuries, and a forearm injury.

According to former NFL executive Michael Lombardi, there is speculation among NFL teams that Michel has a “bone-on-bone” condition in his knee that could hurt his NFL career.

“We take a lot of information in, there is a lot of information that we sought through. So in the end whatever you have with the player, you take whatever comes along with it. Your either comfortable or not comfortable with the player’s situation. In the end, we felt that we were comfortable with the player," Caserio said when asked about the injuries. 

Patriots Select Wynn at #23 

The pick of Michel follows the selection of his Georgia teammate Isaiah Wynn at #23 overall. 


Related Slideshow: 5 Things to Know About the Patriots Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft

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Where are the Patriots Drafting? 

  • Round 1, Pick 23 (23rd overall) - From Los Angeles Rams
  • Round 1, Pick 31 (31st overall) 
  • Round 2, Pick 11 (43rd overall) - From San Francisco
  • Round 2, Pick 31 (63rd overall) 
  • Round 3, Pick 31 (95th overall) 
  • Round 6, Pick 24 (198th overall) - From Los Angeles Rams
  • Round 6, Pick 36 (210th overall) - From Oakland
  • Round 7, Pick 1 (219th overall) - From Cleveland
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Gronkowski to Return 

New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski announced earlier this week via an Instagram post that he would be returning to the Patriots in 2018. 

"I met with coach today, and informed him I will be back for the 2018 season with the Pats. I have been working out, staying in shape and feel great. Looking forward to another championship run," Gronkowski wrote.

Prior to that, it was unclear if Gronkowski would return.  

Gronkowski missed the Patriots offseason workout program last week and ESPN"s Adam Schefter reported that Gronkowski was still deciding if he wanted to play.  

This was followed by a bizarre press conference at Gillette Stadium where Gronkowski was there representing Monster Energy during a motor cross event. 

When asked if he was going to play for the Patriots in 2018, he said “My status is doing really great. I’ve been riding dirt bikes. I’ve been training really hard. I can vroom vroom really good. I can ride that bike like no other."

As the Boston Herald reported earlier this month, Gronkowski is in the midst of a rift with head coach Bill Belichick over Belichick took issue with Gronkowski going to see Tom Brady's personal trainer Alex Guerrero. 

Gronkowski in 2017 

In 2017, Gronkowski hauled in 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games played.

In the playoffs, Gronkowski caught 16 passes for 218 yards and three touchdowns to help the Patriots reach their third Super Bowl in four years.

Gronkowski's Contract 

In 2018, Gronkowski will have a base salary of $8,000,000, a roster bonus of $656,250 and a workout bonus of $250,000, while carrying a cap hit of $10,906,250 and a dead cap value of $4,000,000.

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Who is Gone?

This offseason has seen a bit of a mass exodus from New England. 

It started in mid-March when wide receiver Danny Amendola announced that he was leaving New England to sign a two-year deal worth $12 million with $8.25 million in guarantees with the Miami Dolphins. 

On the same day Amendola left, Malcolm Butler signed a 5-Year Deal Worth $61 Million with the Tennessee Titans. 

His departure comes as no surprise after he was benched for the Patriots Super Bowl loss to the Eagles. 

Running back Dion Lewis would join Butler in Tennessee on a four-year deal. 

Arguably the biggest loss of the Patriots offseason is the departure of left tackle Nate Solder. 

Solder signed a four-year deal worth $62 million, with $35 million guaranteed with the New York Giants. The deal made Solder the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL.

Most recently, the Patriots traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the LA Rams for the #23 overall draft pick. 

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Who is Coming in? 

This offseason the Patriots have brought in eight new players by either trade or free agency. 

The Patriots acquired wide receiver and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson from the Oakland Raiders. 

Last season in Oakland, Patterson played in all 16 games with two starts and caught 31 passes for 309 yards, had 13 rushing attempts for 121 yards and two touchdowns and returned 19 kicks for 538 yards.

In mid-March, the Patriots acquired Devin McCourty’s brother, Jason, from the Cleveland Browns. McCourty will add depth to the secondary, who will look to replace Malcolm Butler.

The last player that the Patriots acquired via trade is defensive lineman Danny Shelton.

Last season, Shelton started all 14 games that he played in and finished with 33 total tackles.

In his career, he has played in 46 NFL games and has 128 total tackles, but only 1 1/2 sacks.

In free agency, the most notable player that the Patriots picked up was former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn.

Last season with Atlanta, Clayborn played in all 16 games with two starts and finished with a career-high 9½ sacks.

New England also added running back Jeremy Hill to help fill the void left by Dion Lewis. 

Last season, Hill started the first seven games of the season and had 37 carries for 116 yards before finishing the season on injured reserve.

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1st Round Projections 

NFL Network 

Round 1, Pick 23: Offensive Tackle Kolton Miller, UCLA 

Round 1, Pick 31:  Cornerback Josh Jackson, Iowa 


NBC Sports Boston 

Round 1, Pick 23: Offensive Tackle Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame 

Round 1, Pick 31: Linebacker Rashaan Evans, Alabama 



Round 1, Pick 23: Offensive Tackle Kolton Miller, UCLA 

Round 1, Pick 31: Quarterback Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State


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