and Michel may be perhaps the best overall—as well as the most overlooked.
Per WalterFootball.com, Michel is currently listed as the second-best back just behind Barkley. Thanks to his versatility in both the running and passing game, Barkley is a likely late first or early second-round running back.
The only issue that may scare teams is his age.
At 23, Michel is the oldest running back in the 2018 NFL Draft, and as we all know that in the NFL, running backs have a short shelf life. Per a 2012 post on thesoapboxers.com titled, What Is The Length Of An NFL Running Back’s Career? the average length of a NFL running back is a minimum of 2.5 years to four to five. Mind you, the post is from 2012, and before the advent of the now modern-day NFL devaluation of running backs. Kevin Seifert of ESPN’s NFL Nation penned a fabulous article on when running backs beginning to cliff at 27. With Michel just turning 23 on February 17, at best Michel will produce a solid three years before beginning to hit that proverbial cliff—curse you Max Kellerman!
Now in the age of a pass-happy league and uber-talented tailbacks such as Ezequiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, LeVeon Bell and Leonard Fournette, Michel may not have to worry about that dreaded cliff, as it may be more a soft grassy-filled canyon and run right through that myth.
Thanks to the aforementioned backs being drafted in the top ten over their last three seasons, Michel may become the biggest beneficiary of the current day devaluation of running backs and cruise right on by that cliff like he’s taking the scenic route on the Pacific Coast Highway.
Hopefully for him, his NFL career is just as breathtaking and stunning.