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There are hundreds of stories being told about the 2016 NFL Draft class.  One the most interesting transformations is about an athletic quarterback into a receiver.  Hines Ward was the mostbmiller successful transition so far (yes he played some quarterback and running back for Georgia), while former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson failed moving to a hybrid running back/receiver role.  Like Ward, Miller changed positions with at least collegian season to work on his craft.  To get a better idea of what skills and attributes the play maker is bringing to the NFL, I reviewed his games against Michigan, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, and his Senior Bowl game and practices.  Here is what I saw:

WR-Braxton Miller, Ohio State 6′ 1″ 201 lbs. 

Cons: Too say Miller is a raw prospect is an understatement.  He played one year at wide receiver on a team that runs almost as much as it passes.  Despite the run-first aspect of the Ohio State offense, the wide out is only a decent blocker in both the run and passing games.  The former Buckeye is not a strong route runner (especially intermediate routes) , runs a bit high, and doesn’t protect the ball once its in his hands.  All technique work will need to be refined if he gets drafted by a team with a precision passing attack.

Pros: The play maker is an outstanding athletic freak with great change of direction (6.65 second three cone drill, 4.07 second twenty yard shuttle, and 10.84 second sixty yard shuttle at the Combine).  While he improved on his 4.5 second 40 yard Combine time at his pro day (a biased Columbus 4.36 seconds), the wide out has quick enough feet and explosion to make defenders miss in the open field which is all that really matters.  Miller usually lined up in the slot, but could also line up on the line of scrimmage and get a clean release.  The former Buckeye tracks the ball well in the air and can contort himself to make difficult catches with his soft hands.  He does show some crispness getting in and out of breaks, while using double and triple moves to get free on deeper patterns.

Miller is a great runner after the catch as he uses jump cuts, spin moves, head fakes, his loose hips, and stiff-arms to create separation in the open field.  It’s this big play potential and outstanding balance that set him apart from most other receivers in his class. He also has the potential to be an outstanding returner with his willingness to fight for extra yardage.

Overall impressions: Miller is an extremely gifted athlete that must show the ability to translate to the more physical NFL style game.  Dynasty owners that expect an immediate impact might be severely disappointed.   A patient owner that drafts him with little expectation in year one should be well rewarded in 2017 and beyond.  I have him in my top ten rookie receivers and expect to hear his name called on Friday night of the NFL Draft (second or third round) and you should plan on acquiring him in the second round of your rookie drafts.

Thanks for reading!

You can follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley and/or the site @Dynasty_Blitz. 



    • GPT
    • Posted March 18, 2016 at 2:03 PM
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    thanks for the info Andy, I knew I would find some combination of the words bias and columbus or ohio state in there somewhere! but dont worry, ol’ Blue is on the mend.

      • Andy Miley
      • Posted March 18, 2016 at 2:34 PM
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