ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news of Michel being traded to the Rams, indicating that LA gave up multiple draft picks to get the deal done. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport later specified what the precise compensation entailed:
Michel was the 31st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Georgia, so there’s no denying his talent level. However, he’s been somewhat inconsistent during his time in New England, which may be in part due to how Patriots coach Bill Belichick likes to deploy a running back committee.
Between Damien Harris, James White and even rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, the Pats have plenty of backs, and as mentioned before, the Rams had an obvious need. This swap certainly worked out in New England’s favor.
As for the Rams’ side of the trade, though, Michel is about the best back they could’ve hoped to acquire. Although he hasn’t had the NFL career his ex-Georgia teammate Nick Chubb has with the Cleveland Browns, Michel is likely to compete for LA’s starting running back job with Darrell Henderson in short order.
Interestingly, Michel scored the only touchdown of the Patriots’ 13-3 Super Bowl LIII victory over the Rams. During that three-game run in the postseason amid Michel’s rookie campaign, he racked up 336 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
Having performed on the biggest of stages before, Michel is just what Los Angeles needed. In nine games last season, he had 449 yards rushing on just 79 carries. The two seasons prior, he was up over 900 yards rushing each year with a total of 13 TDs on the ground.
This is yet another instance of the Rams burning through draft picks in the name of going all-in each year for a championship. Head coach Sean McVay’s offense is built around the running game, so he’ll be thrilled to welcome Michel.
The same goes for new Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford, whose prior dozen years with the Detroit Lions were defined by a lackluster rushing attack to support him. Akers’ injury was a big blow, but Stafford should be backed well by Michel and Henderson, who’s dealing with a mild thumb sprain but should be ready for Week 1.