Summary: Michael could be considered to be one of the most talented prospects who should be available after the first round. Scouts from around the league feel that Michael has a first-round skill set, but character concerns and injuries have him slotted as a second-day pick.
Michael saw his first action for the Aggies as a freshman. He had 844 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Michael was the lead back for Texas A&M as a sophomore until a broken leg ended his season early. He averaged five yards per carry for 631 yards and four touchdowns in 2010.
Michael was enjoying his best collegiate season in 2011 before he tore knee ligaments. The junior was averaging six yards per carry with 899 yards and eight touchdowns. Michael had a massive game of 230 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Arkansas.
Texas A&M fired Mike Sherman before the 2012 season and brought in new head coach Kevin Sumlin. Michael got in the new staff's dog house, so his playing time took a hit. Plus, Johnny Manziel was dominating defenses as a passer and a runner, so Michael didn't get a lot of carries. The senior became the goal-line back as he totaled 417 yards on 88 carries (4.7 average) and 12 touchdowns.
Michael helped his draft stock by being the most impressive player at the East-West Shrine. He was superb and looked like a player at another level. Michael followed that up with an excellent Combine. He had a good 40 time (4.54 seconds) and looked excellent in the field drills.
Michael has three-down starting ability for the NFL. He uses his strength to pick up yards after the contact, but is still very quick to the hole and has a second gear to burst downfield. He is a great cutter and elusive in the open field, too. Michael has the size and power to be a good short-yardage and goal-line back, with the speed to break off long runs.
Transitioning to the NFL should be relatively quick for Michael. He will need to work on his pass-receiving skills and blitz protection, but he received a decent start playing in Sherman's West Coast offense. Michael caught 44 passes for 323 yards and a touchdown across four seasons. His one-cut-and-downhill style could make him a great fit in a zone-blocking scheme.
Michael is slotted to go on the second day because of the character and durability concerns. Scouts have told WalterFootball.com they don't believe that Michael will be available on Day 3.
Player Comparison: Marshawn Lynch. Michael is identical in size to Lynch (5-11, 215) and they have similar running styles. Both players combine power, physicality and quickness. Lynch was a first-round pick, and Michael has first-round talent, but will fall to the second day.
NFL Matches: Green Bay, Pittsburgh, New York Jets, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, New Orleans
There are a lot of teams that could take Michael on the second day of the draft. The Packers have shown a ton of interest in Michael and Ted Thompson was practically stalking him at the East-West Shrine. However, Green Bay typically avoids players with character concerns.
The Steelers need a starting running back and Michael would be a great fit in their offense. Pittsburgh has shown interest in him.
The New York Jets have shown a ton of interest in Michael. They have met with him repeatedly at a variety of locations. The Jets need a starting running back and Michael could provide an immediate impact for New York's offense. He could easily go the Jets in the third round.
The Rams could use another running back and have taken chances on players with character red flags.
Tampa Bay has shown a ton of interest in Michael. They are looking for a backup to Doug Martin and Michael looks firmly on their radar. Michael tweeted out a photo of him and Greg Schiano from One Buc Place during his team visit. The question is if Michael will be available when the Bucs are ready to take a running back.
New Orleans is another team that is very interested in Michael. It seems unlikely that the Saints would take him in the third round, but if Michael falls to the third day he may be too good for New Orleans to pass up.
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