Texas A&M Senior
Has very good speed and a dangerous first step off the corner. Has the quickness and burst to dip the shoulder and turn the corner as an edge rusher, showing good bend. Has very good closing burst on the ball and quarterback, able to strip the ball for the fumble. Can deliver a punch to the offensive tackle, and use his hands to make the quick, inside move off the edge.Does a nice job on the backside pursuit vs. the run. Shoots gaps vs. the run and can be disruptive. Is able to get leverage against the tight end and set the edge vs. the run. Shows ability to wrap up at the point of attack or when playing in space. Is athletic and fluid when moving in space, and shows potential in coverage.
Needs to get stronger. Too easily redirected when an offensive tackle gets his hands on him, and doesn't do a great job getting off blocks when facing a good blocking tight end. Gets stuck in the trash at times at the point of attack. Has a tendency to try and run around blocks, and at times to effectively chipped by a running back. Needs to improve his hand use and hasn't quite mastered the bull rush. Tends to overly rely on his first step and edge quickness, and needs to develop a more consistent counter move when he gets the tackle off balance with his speed. Tends to get exposed when he's playing in space. Doesn't always take good angles to the ball. Gets caught looking in the backfield when covering the back in the flat and doesn't get enough depth on his drops into coverage. Can lose outside contain against the zone read or give up the cutback lane.
Miller has all the tools 3-4 teams look for in an outside linebacker. He needs work, particularly when it comes to defending the run and playing in coverage, but flashes the tools to get much better. At Texas A&M, his primary duties were rushing the quarterback, and that was something he did very well. His first step is very dangerous and if he can develop more moves and get stronger, he'll become even more dangerous. Got off to a relatively slow start as a senior, with no sacks in his first four games, but finished strong. Ended year with 68 tackles, 17.5 for loss, and 10.5 sacks. Also had an INT and 6 pass breakups to go with 3 forced fumbles, and 2 recoveries. Led nation in sacks as a junior with 17 along with 48 tackles, 21.5 for loss, 5 breakups, and 4 forced fumbles.
Miller is an ideal 3-4 outside linebacker, with the potential to be an elite pass rusher once he polishes up his game. He is good enough to come in right away and make an impact, although I don't think he'll be more than an average starter as a rookie. He needs work vs. the run and in coverage, but has the speed, athleticism, smarts to get better there eventually. He may never be a guy that you would put on an island against Reggie Bush, but he has the ability to cover backs and tight ends once he improves his awareness in coverage. As a run defender, he's a nice run and hit guy that just needs to get more comfortable playing in space. At Texas A&M he plays up on the line quite a bit and the smoothest transition for him to the next level, will be doing the same where he would take on more tight ends than offensive tackles vs. the run. As a pass rusher, he has the potential to be a 15-sack guy down the line, but again as a rookie I'd expect him to be more likely in the 4-6 sack range. His potential in the 3-4 scheme is on par with someone like a Shawne Merriman in his roided up prime or DeMarcus Ware, in that he is feared by opposing teams and they slant their protections toward him, which frees up teammates. But that sort of ability is probably at least two or three years away. He has the ability to play in a 4-3 scheme, either as an end or a linebacker, but he wouldn't be as good there as he would b in a 3-4. As an end, he'd have to bulk up and would be more of a situational guy than a true starter, that would get pushed around a bit too much. He's better off playing linebacker, but again, dropping him into coverage and playing in space limits him from doing what he does best, which is getting upfield and attacking the quarterback. So unless he played in a blitz-happy scheme that would want him to rush the quarterback half the time, he would only be an above average starter at best.
Miller would help the Falcons pass rush as a linebacker in their blitz packages, and would fill a similar role as to what Brian Orakpo had in Washington as a rookie, playing the run on first and second down, and lining up at end on third downs. His athleticism would mean he's probably eventually an upgrade over Nicholas is coverage, but he'd still struggle early in his career when asked to cover backs, receivers, and tight ends in space. So while eventually he can be an upgrade, that wouldn't be felt until several years down the line. His true value to the Falcons would be the pressure he can bring off the corner as a blitzer and on passing downs would be a good asset to have. But he would be limited by how much impact he could make when he wasn't rushing the passer. Eventually he would be a player comparable to Kamerion Wimbley or Brian Orakpo. He has the potential to be, but he would have to be a 10-sack guy to make up for the fact that he's below average to average in other areas of playing linebacker for the Falcons.
For a 3-4 team, Miller is a solid Top 10 prospect because of his potential to be a dominant pass rusher, as well as impact in other phases.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 3.0
Pass Rush: 4.0
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