It looks like Sony Michel will be missing most, if not all, of the preseason. This news comes after he had fluid drained from his knee this past week. With the injury concerns that Michel brought with him from college, this is a bad sign. It brought back memories of another player on whom Belichick took a chance at the end of the first round in 2014. His name was Dominique Easley, and all the reports were that he had top 10 talent, he had just been unable to stay healthy in college. Sound familiar?
Now, Michel is a long way from turning into Easley, a massive bust who has finished the season on IR in 3 out of his 4 years in the NFL. However, with Michel’s knee being bone on bone coming out of college, there is some question as to whether or not the Patriots may have swung a little too hard and sliced their shot into the woods. Yes, that was a golf analogy, it’s the summer after all.
Golf talk aside, this procedure is sure to make Patriots fans uneasy. Belichick’s strategy is simple, and it makes sense too. You’re late in the first round, there are many good players still available, but one guy sticks out who you know is much more talented than the guys left at his position. It’s tough not to take a risk on the injury in exchange for the potential. Not only that, but the Patriots are better equipped to handle a misfire at the end of the first than most teams. It’s a thing that Belichick prepares for. Have other guys ready to step in at a moments notice. It’s what makes the Patriots great. However, there’s only so many high picks you can miss on until it starts to effect the play of the team. No matter how much depth you have, in the end you still need talented guys on your roster.
Don’t give up on Sony just yet. He does have one big thing that separates him from Easley. Easley was notorious for not having a great work ethic. That does not seem to be the case with Sony. It appears that, provided he can stay healthy, he’s going to work his butt off to contribute any way he can. However, any time you draw comparisons to the biggest first round mistake in Bill Belichick’s Patriots tenure, it’s not great. Let’s just hope when we look back at this pick in 3 years that we talk about how great of a pick it was, and not what could have been.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
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