Former New England Patriots running back Sony Michel shared his thoughts on Ezekiel Elliott, who recently signed with the Patriots on a one-year deal.
Michel knows a thing or two about adding value in the running game. He was the Patriots’ first-round draft pick in 2018 and ended up being a key contributor in New England’s Super Bowl LIII win that season. Now, the organization is looking to get back to the playoffs, and adding Elliott will at least give them the running back depth needed to attempt to do so.
Michel believes that Elliott still has quite a bit left in the tank, despite being supplanted by teammate Tony Pollard in the Dallas Cowboys running back room last year.
“Zeke, he’s one of the top backs in the league right now—still, to this day. I have this argument all the time,” Michel said, when appearing on the “Up & Adams” show. “He’s still probably top-seven running back. You know, a lot of people give him a lot of flak for what happened the past couple years, ‘Oh, he’s not the same Zeke.’ This dude’s going still for a 1,000 yards, and he’s still not the same? He probably dropped off 200 yards and people were saying he fell off or he’s not the same. He’s the same Zeke. Now, he’s probably hungrier than ever on a different team, fresh start.”
Zeke is a top-7 running back in the league!? 🌶️😯
— Up & Adams (@UpAndAdamsShow) August 21, 2023
To say that Michel’s take is generous would be accurate.
Elliott is not the same producer that he was at his peak. Nevertheless, having Rhamondre Stevenson in the backfield means that Elliott will not have to be the top running back he was during his early years in Dallas.
Instead, he should be able to complement Stevenson and form one of the best running back duos in the NFL. New England will need to keep pace with the rest of the teams in the AFC East, and having a strong running game will help them do that.
Elliott is the sort of low-risk, high-reward signing that typically pays off for the Patriots.