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Draft Profile: Von Miller

Von Miller's standout performance at the Senior Bowl and impressive combine numbers have helped to raise his draft value and pushed him into elite top 10 territory on some boards. Viewed as an edge rushing threat and potential sack specialist, Miller has recently worked hard to erase lingering doubts that he is a legitimate 3-down player in the NFL.  

Von Miller / LB/ Texas A&M

Ht: 6'3"   Wt: 246 lbs

NFL Combine Stats

40 time: 4.53 sec        Vertical Jump: 37"        Broad Jump: 10'6"         Bench Press: 21 reps

3 x cone: 6.7 sec        20 yd shuttle: 4.06 sec   60 yd shuttle: 11.15 sec (combine record for linebackers)

  College Stats

Year

TOT

SOLO

AST

SACKS

SFTY

BK

FF

INT

YDS

AVG

LONG

2007

23

10

13

 2

 0 

 0

 0

 0

2008

44

25

 19

 3

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

2009

43

31

 12

 17

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

2010

68

38

 30

 11

 0

 0

 0

 1

 3

 3

 3

 

Collegiate Information

College position: "Joker"/ OLB in a 3-4 scheme. Miller is a university studies major with a concentration in agriculture and life sciences. He won the Butkus Award as the most outstanding college linebacker in 2010. Not a full-time starter until his Junior year, he led the nation in sacks in 2009 and ranked fifth in tackles for loss (1.65) at end of that regular season. A special teams standout, he started all 13 games. Miller was All Big-12 and led the conference in sacks in both 2009 and 2010.

Expected NFL Position

Projected at OLB in a 3-4 system

Strengths

Von Miller appears to be a good club house guy. He says and does all the right things on and off the field. But what everyone seems to love most about the guy is his game speed and quickness around the line of scrimmage. A sprinter in high school, Miller runs well and plays under control for the most part. Earned his reputation as a sack specialist in 2009 -- known for effective inside spin moves and ability to beat offensive tackles around the outside.  He is clearly athletic enough to drop deep and keep up with tight ends and running backs in coverage. 

 Texas A&M 24 Texas 17

Player Weaknesses

There seem to be legitimate concerns about how he will hold up against the run at the next level. Until he adds more mass, in my opinion he appears a little undersized to play outside and hold the edge in an NFL 3-4. However, most reports give him credit for solid run defense at the college level. So, I wouldn't bet against him and he will probably end up proving me wrong. Maybe he would develop quicker in the 4-3 where his college experience in the "joker" role could complicate pass coverages and make for some interesting blitz packages. I haven't observed any bull rush capability yet either. I expect teams to test him early and often on first down until he proves his ability to hold ground against the run. Teams will probably exploit his continuous edge rushing which tends to create natural running lanes off tackle. The most concerning criticism I have read on Miller was the suggestion that he sometimes quits on plays when other players are in the vicinity. He lets them finish instead of helping with the assist or piling in. I didn't see strong evidence of this in the little tape I reviewed. But, I did see some.

Why the Browns should draft this player

Speed, speed and more speed on top. Also seems to have a pretty good nose for the football. Von Miller looks like the big play defensive standout that everyone covets. Given time with the proper conditioning and development, he will contribute in any system provided he can maintain his quickness and agility while he attempts to bulk up. Claims Derrick Thomas as his role model.

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Reasons not to draft this player

Ok, ok.  So he played out of his mind in 2009. Then came back from injury to have a respectable season in 2010 -- good enough for first team All-American honors. He represented himself very well at the Senior Bowl and recently put up some pretty impressive numbers at the NFL combine. But, is that enough to move him up to a #6 pick for the Browns? I don't think so and here is why. Our division rivals generally opt to run first especially late in the season. As good as Miller looks against the pass, I still have my doubts about how he will hold up as one of our OLBs in running situations on 1st and 2nd down. Additionally, with all the question marks remaining for our front 3 or 4 (most likely), his success depends largely on who plays in front of him no matter what kind of size, speed and technique he brings to the table. That's not to say he won't have a major impact on the team that does select him. He fits well in the impact player category. I just don't see that same impact potential with the Browns at this point. 

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