Even at the NFL scouting combine, the bond between Georgia running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel’s is apparent.
“He’s (going to) be a good player, a balanced player,” Chubb said of Michel on Thursday. “He can do it all. Anything you ask of him he can do it.”
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is considered the top running back in next month’s NFL draft, but Chubb and Michel are also attracting a lot of interest. Both are projected to be selected in the draft, which will be held April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas.
They plan to help each other through combine workouts on Friday.
“Definitely some more fun doing it together,” Chubb said. “Somebody’s here. (Georgia offensive lineman) Isaiah Wynn is here with me and same day, so we all get to hang out and go through the process together, too.”
Chubb and Michel are apart of 10 Georgia players invited to this year’s scouting combine.
“We are really excited for the UGA contingency here,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “It just goes to show when success happens it helps everybody.”
The Falcons have interviews set up with most of the Georgia players.
“We’ve seen the runners,” Quinn said. “Not only will we visit with them here. We’ll get a chance to visit with them at UGA (pro day) and than at our own (locals) day. I’m excited for (Georgia coach) Kirby (Smart) and about the style and attitude that they are playing with.”
Chubb measured 5-foot-10 and 227 pounds. Chubb and Barkley led all running backs as both lifted 225 pounds 29 times on Thursday. Michel did 22 reps of the weight.
“Everyone wanted to see my knee, obviously, and they said everything looked good,” said Chubb, who revived his career after a undergoing left knee surgery in 2015. “They pulled on it … everyone said it looked good. Great work by the doctors and good rehab.”
Chubb and Michel were a dynamic duo for the Bulldogs in their appearance in the national championship game.
Chubb rushed 758 times for 4,769 yards and 44 touchdowns in his four-year career at Georgia. He also caught 31 passes for 361 yards and four touchdowns.
“Probably my speed and quickness and catching the ball,” Chubb said about what he hopes to show teams during his workouts.
Last season’s rookie running backs class had an immediate impact in the NFL.
“I think over the past few years, the running backs have done a great job of coming in on an NFL level to kind of put the position in a better situation,” Chubb said. “Using the running backs a lot more in the passing game, things like that, so those guys definitely helped out in that area.”
Chubb, who is represented by Atlanta-base agent Pat Dye Jr., has met with the New York Jets. The Giants, Panthers, Broncos and Seahawks are teams in need of running backs.
“Coaches I’ve talked to have told me, ‘It doesn’t matter where you get drafted,’” Chubb said. “You’ve got to work hard and work your tail off. A lot of free agents have got a lot of playing time because they work harder than any other guys.”
Chubb believes his running style tranlates to the NFL.
“I’m pretty well-balanced, pretty athletic,” Chubb said. “I can jump high. I can run pretty fast and catch the ball well. It’ll be fun to go out there and compete with the other guys and have fun.”
Most young NFL backs struggle in pass protection.
“I was asked to do that sometimes,” Chubb said. “Not as much as I wanted to. I didn’t catch much.”
Chubb was proud that the knee injury didn’t derail his promising career.
“It was tough for me at first, (trying) to bounce back from it, just the mental aspect part,” Chubb said. “Family support and friends around me made it a lot easier.”
Michel rushed 590 times for 3,613 yards and 33 touchdowns over his four-year career at Georgia. He caught 64 passes for 621 yards and six touchdowns.
“I just want to show my ability to compete,” Michel said. “That’s what this is all about, come down here and compete with other guys and have some fun.”
Michel believes that Chubb helped make him a better running back.
“Me and Nick, we just competed against each other,” Michel said. “Having someone there as good as he (was) has helped me want to better my game every day. There was no day that I couldn’t step on the field and didn’t want to give my best. He brought the best out of me.”
They will compare their combine numbers.
“It’s not so much against him,” Michel said. “It’s about being the best that I can be. Yeah, we’ll joke around about who has the better numbers, but it’s not all about us competing against one another. He’s going to be the best that he can be and I’m going to do the best I can. I know he’s going to have good success and hopefully, I’ll do the same thing.”
Michel and Chubb are rated the fifth and sixth best running backs in the draft behind Barkley, LSU’s Derrius Guice, USC’s Ronald Jones and Oregon’s Royce Freeman, according to NFLDraftScout.com.