By: Mark Leipold
- Contested Catches
- Versatility and Balance
- Strong at Catch
- Deep Separation
Contested Catches – Miller is strong at fighting off defensive backs and making contested catches, with one caveat later on. When DBs are on his back, he is unaffected and able to make the catch anyway.
Versatility and Balance – Memphis deployed Miller in many ways, including deep balls, short routes, screens, and jet sweeps. Watch his running ability in the first clip. His versatility will provide him many ways to get on the field at the next level. When running after the catch, Miller has great balance for his size and is able to bounce off tacklers who don’t wrap him up, as shown in the second clip.
Strong Hands – This one will also come with a caveat later, but Miller has strong hands and can provide the circus catches. Watch him bring one in while fully extended in the first two clips, which show two angles – he controls the ball immediately even when he hits the ground. The last clip needs no explanation.
Deep Separation – Miller is good at getting a step of separation deep. He doesn’t burn defenders regularly, but he’s usually able to get just enough space to invite the deep ball from his quarterback. He can do it both by finding space in a zone (clip 1) or by pure speed (clip 2).
- Body Catching
- Blocking Effort
- Jump Balls
Drops – Miller had a lot of bad drops in college. Not much needs to be said here – if he can’t right the ship, he won’t last long in the NFL.
Body Catching – The reason for a lot of Miller’s drops is that he’s a major body-catcher. That’s not a good sign.
Blocking Effort – I didn’t find too many clips of him blocking because he was the primary playmaker on Memphis’s offense, but Miller seems to put in no effort here and lets his teammate get swallowed up. Lack of effort is the easiest way to lose snaps in the NFL.
Jump Balls – Miller stands at 5’11” so this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Memphis still threw him plenty of jump balls. He was not effective at locating the ball or timing his jump, so he struggled to bring down contested jump balls.
Miller was a mega-producer at the college level and the go-to player on the Memphis offense. He has a lot to offer, but he doesn’t really excel in one particular area. Sadly, he reminds me of Tavon Austin in that he can contribute in a lot of ways to an offense, but I don’t necessarily see him translating into an every-snap starter at the NFL level. I think he’ll carry more value and usage than Tavon Austin – he seems to be somewhere in between Austin and Tyreek Hill.
Miller looks like more of a gadget player to me than an every-snap starter, and Tyreek Hill has shown us that wide receivers who don’t fit the typical mold can have great fantasy value. Tavon Austin has shown us that they can also be essentially worthless for fantasy football. I’d expect Miller to slot in between those two players in terms of both his value to an NFL team and his fantasy output. He looks like a WR3 or so for fantasy without that much upside. There are no official testing numbers on his speed, but he doesn’t look to have the speed of Hill, he doesn’t have great size, and he’s not a route technician, so there isn’t a clear path to fantasy WR1 status. I’m not willing to take Miller before the third round at this point, though if he tests more athletically than he looks on film or if he gets surprisingly high draft pedigree, that will bump him up.