Two Georgia running backs will be closely watched this week.
The NFL scouting combine starts today and runs through Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Georgia running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb are fine NFL prospects, who’ll likely be selected after Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and LSU’s Derrius Guice.
“The more I watch Sony Michel, the more I think Sony Michel can make an impact like Alvin Kamara in the run game,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said on Monday. “I think he has burst, acceleration and better toughness than people think. Better contact-balance than what I expected.”
Michel can help himself with a good showing in the pass catching and route-running drills.
“What he doesn’t have yet is the pass-game ability that Kamara did,” Mayock said. “I think he’s got good hands, but I’m not sure because they didn’t throw it too him much. I know he didn’t run great routes. Just check-downs and flare screens.”
There are other concerns about Michel, too.
“Ball security with Michel (is an issue), the fumbles,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. “He’s got to clean that up.”
Chubb is a fit for teams, like the Falcons, who employ the outside-zone run scheme.
“(Nick) Chubb is one of the toughest running backs in this class, down-hill, north-south, one-cut, make you miss,” Mayock said. “I think he’s a warrior. I love him. He’ll fit zone-scheme and be a really good player.”
Michel and Chubb are rated the fifth and sixth best running backs in the draft behind Barkley, Guice, USC’s Ronald Jones and Oregon’s Royce Freeman.