2. Nick Chubb over Sony Michel (2018)
This one’s tough because Michel was a valiant servant over his three years with the Patriots. However, there’s a stark difference between a valiant servant and a perennial superstar and that’s exactly what Belichick and the front office passed on when they selected Michel over Nick Chubb at No. 31 overall in 2018.
Four picks later, the Browns pounced on Chubb, who admittedly had concerns surrounding his knee coming out of Georgia. Luckily for Cleveland, their gamble has paid colossal dividends, as Chubb has only missed seven games due to injury over his four-year career.
More importantly, he’s been the centerpiece of their offense.
Since he was drafted, Chubb ranks second only to Derrick Henry in the NFL in rushing yards (4,816). He’s also first in yards per attempt (5.3), fourth in yards per game (83.0), fifth in carries (908), and seventh in rushing touchdowns (36).
Michel, on the other hand, never eclipsed 935 rushing yards in any of his seasons with the Patriots and his 4.0 yards per carry ranks sixth-worst at the position since 2018. The only thing the former Georgia star did at an efficient rate was score touchdowns and Chubb has exactly twice as many (36 to Michel’s 18) in his career.
We know running backs don’t have a huge impact on winning, but it’s nauseating to think about how deadly New England’s offense’s could have been if they’d had a RB of Chubb’s caliber lined up in the backfield over Michel.