15 most important Patriots for 2019: No. 11, Sony Michel

With the Patriots off until training camp, we’re having a series featuring the 15 most important Patriots players for the upcoming season. The countdown will continue for the next several weeks.

No. 11: Sony Michel 

Position: Running back

2018 stats: 209 carries, 931 yards, six touchdowns in 13 games

Why he’s No. 11: Michel had a very solid rookie season with the Patriots, despite missing three games. On top of his regular-season production (13 games), he had an outstanding three games in the postseason when he ran for 336 yards and six touchdowns as the Patriots won Super Bowl LIII. The Patriots offense shifted to more of a run-first unit in the playoffs and Michel's production was a major reason why it worked. Michel's 931 yards rushing were the 19th-most ever by a Patriots running back in a single season.

Some might ask why he's so far down on the list given his success last year, but it's because typically the Patriots get the same out of their running backs no matter who is in the backfield, which means they are easily replaceable. For instance, some would argue rookie Damien Harris would be able to put up some of the same numbers Michel did if given the opportunuty. Also, the Patriots have quite a bit of depth at the position, so they likely would be able to get by without Michel. With that being said, Michel is still a very talented back and has the potential to be a major contributor to the team.

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