Last season, New England Patriots running back Sony Michel lived up to his billing as a first-round selection, recording an impressive rookie season by running the ball 209 times for 931 yards and six touchdowns and catching seven passes for 50 yards in just 13 games. In the playoffs, Michel stepped up his game as he ran 71 times for 336 yards and six scores. In Super Bowl LIII, Michel stood out after running 18 times for 94 yards and accounted for the lone touchdown in their 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams. With his outstanding performance in his rookie season, writer Gregg Rosenthal listed Michel as the Patriots’ “key homegrown player” or player on their rookie contract and is expected to shine even more in the 2019 season.

Michel had an outstanding rookie year

According to Rosenthal, Michel was good as a rookie as he played behind one of the best Patriots offensive line of all time. Rosenthal added that Michel’s numbers in the playoffs were associated with a dominant workhorse rusher. In 2019, Rosenthal believes that Michel could become a true game-changer for veteran quarterback Tom Brady due to his improved elusiveness and pass-catching ability. Aside from Michel, the Patriots have a loaded backfield in Brandon Bolden, Nick Brossette, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris and James White. The Patriots took Harris in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft after leading Alabama in rushing yards in the last three seasons. In his four years with the Crimson Tide, Harris ran the ball 477 times for 3,070 yards and 23 touchdowns and caught 52 passes for 407 yards and two scores.

Inman explains decision to sign with Patriots

Currently, the Patriots’ wide receiver depth chart is wide open, with just No. 1 wideout Julian Edelman and rookie N’Keal Harry assured of spots in the 53-man roster. This means that Phillip Dorsett, Dontrelle Inman, Maurice Harris, Braxton Berrios, Damoun Patterson, Ryan Davis, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski will have to battle for their places in the regular-season roster.

The Patriots also have Demaryius Thomas and Josh Gordon in their roster of wide receivers, but they are still out of commission.

Inman, for his part, said the Patriots’ deep wide receiving corps did not deter him from signing with the team in the offseason. “Just go out there and give the best that I can do and let everything else work out,” said the 30-year-old Inman, saying he signed with the Patriots because “I like winning.” Inman signed with the Indianapolis Colts midway through the season, but he still caught 28 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns in nine games.

At 6-foot-3, Inman could line up outside or in the slot for the Patriots if he makes the final roster. Inman was the latest tall wide receiver signed by the Patriots to help Brady become more consistent in tight passing situations.