Pros: Takes as quick a first step off the snap as you'll see, and he takes near-perfect angles to the quarterback. Fast even for a stand-up pass rusher. Has to be taken on one-on-one - he shoots through chip blocks as if they aren't happening. Extremely impressive footwork allows him to bait tackles inside or outside and move the other way to get an open lane.
Great speed to redirect after losing the back end of the pocket. Some of his sacks come as a result of his determination to chase quarterbacks down as they're leaving the pocket. Shoots inside with extreme quickness - unless the guard and/or center are prepared for it, Miller's going to shoot right past them. Can stack-and-shed very well for his size (6-foot-3, 237 pounds) to bring running backs down. Not a bad open-field tackler when the situation arises, but this is a guy whose gearbox is set to "forward" almost all the time.
Cons: Will need to put on a few pounds to succeed at the NFL level. Sometimes Miller is just winning speed battles against guys who don't have serious NFL futures. Lack of experience in coverage shows on tape, but there's no reason a player with his athleticism couldn't develop into a good intermediate pass defender. He displayed some coverage ability during Senior Bowl week. No real bull-rush to speak of; he lacks the upper-body strength to do that at this time.
What he brings to the team: Miller has had the late Derrick Thomas as his NFL model for success for a long time, but he puts me more in the mind of Clay Matthews because of his ability to stunt inside and play the LEO position in hybrid fronts. Matthews has become a nonpareil quarterback disruptor out of any front, and Miller has already proven to be the same. However, he's not scheme-transcendent - he'll have to put on far too much weight to be a legitimate 4-3 end against the run -- he's a pure pass-rusher.
Is it the right pick? For a Broncos team transitioning back to a 4-3, Miller is a great pick — he'll bring a dominant sense of edge rush that some have compared to DeMarcus Ware(notes), and when you put him with Elvis Dumervil(notes), Denver's defensive line just got a lot scarier.
The rest of the top 10 picks
• 1. Cam Newton -- Carolina Panthers
• 3. Marcell Dareus -- Buffalo Bills
• 4. A.J. Green -- Cincinnati Bengals
• 5. Patrick Peterson -- Arizona Cardinals
• 6. Julio Jones -- Atlanta Falcons
• 7. Aldon Smith -- San Francisco 49ers
• 8. Jake Locker -- Tennessee Titans
• 9. Tyron Smith -- Dallas Cowboys
• 10. Blaine Gabbert -- Jacksonville Jaguars
Posted Jul 2 2012
Posted Jul 3 2012
Posted Jun 21 2012