Draft:62nd overall by Seattle, 2013
Games Studied: 2015 preseason vs. DEN, KC, SD, OAK; 2014 regular season vs. NYG, PHI, ARZ
Report:Michael is a square-built player that is thick in both the upper and lower body. He shows an initial burst to and through the hole, he but doesn't have long range speed. He was much better in the preseason turning the corner with speed than he was last year.
He's a physical finisher with the ball in his hands -- more likely to run over you than avoid with moves. Will lower his shoulder or throw a stiff arm in a tackler's face to buy separation. Always trying to extend the play and fight for extra yards. Runs with lower body power.
In 2014 he was put in against the Eagles to kill the last two minutes of the game, and, against an eight-man box, he was able to grind out a first down. He runs low to the ground and keeps his legs moving.
Michael is not going to make you miss in space, but when he gets a hole he is going to attack it -- downhill with a head of steam. But I would not call him a creator with the ball in his hands. He sees opportunities and goes. There were snaps where he tried to be nifty and wasn't successful. Michael runs like he is on a track or a rail – which would be the opposite of what you see in Darren McFadden's running style.
As a receiver, he always has good hands. He can work the screen or between the hashes. Has some pop as a pass blocker, but I worry about his overall technique. He is more likely to throw a shoulder at a rusher than sit square and take him on. But he is more than willing, because I saw him take a shot at a defensive end for the Raiders and come away undamaged. Gary Brown will need to help him improve in this area.
I had a bit of concern with his ball security for the number of carries he received. He had the ball ripped out of his hands against the Cardinals last season, then he put it on the ground again in the preseason against the Broncos -- but his teammates managed to recover.
Where Christine Michael fits in this current group of Cowboys running backs is that he is that physical hammer. He is more likely to take the ball and hit the hole instead of showing a great deal of patience and allowing blocks to develop. Once he gets going – he is a load to stop.