Braxton Miller 2016 NFL Draft Profile

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Overview
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 201 pounds
School: Ohio State Buckeyes

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.50 seconds
Bench press (225 pounds): 17 reps
Vertical jump: 35 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 3 inches
Three-cone drill: 6.65 seconds (third-best among wide receivers)
20-yard shuttle: 4.07 seconds (tied for best among wide receivers)
60-yard shuttle: 10.84 seconds (best among wide receivers)

Braxton Miller 2016 NFL Draft Profile

There was a time not too long ago when it was assumed that Braxton Miller was destined for the NFL at quarterback. He came to Ohio State as the nation’s top rated dual-threat signal caller according to Rivals.com. And it didn’t take long for him to make an impact on the field. Despite a disappointing 6-7 2011 campaign, Miller’s play was good enough for him to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. A year later, he combined for 3,310 yards of total offense, including 1,271 rushing yards. Only three Big Ten running backs accounted for more yards on the ground. He played a major role in the Buckeyes going undefeated in Urban Meyer’s first year as OSU head coach. Due to the “Tattoo-gate” scandal involving former head coach Jim Tressell, the team was ineligible for the postseason though.

Miller had another outstanding campaign in 2013. For the second straight season, he would cross the 2,000 passing yards/1,000 rushing yards threshold. As a result, he would repeat as Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. OSU was firmly in the national title conversation until a surprise loss to Michigan State in the conference title game dashed their hopes. They would then fall to Clemson in the Orange Bowl. And during that game, Miller suffered a shoulder injury that, in many respects, would change his fate as a football player.

The Springfield, OH native would undergo off-season surgery. After returning in time for pre-season camp, Miller re-injured the shoulder. Later, it would be revealed that another procedure was necessary which meant he would have to miss the entirety of the 2014 season. The news initially sounded disastrous to the Buckeyes quarterback situation. However, we all know what J.T. Barrett and then Cardale Jones did in leading the Scarlet and Gray to the inaugural College Football Playoff title.

The following summer, Miller announced that he would be switching to wide receiver for his final season in Columbus. It seemed to be a risky move from the standpoint of his NFL stock. But as he would prove throughout the season, it paid off. Operating out of the hybrid back position which is a staple of Meyer’s offensive philosophy, he accounted for 522 total yards and four touchdowns. And he pulled off arguably the play of the year with his scintillating spin move that led to a decisive touchdown in their season opening win against Virginia Tech.

Strengths

  • ideal frame and build for an NFL-caliber receiver.
  • phenomenal athlete with great acceleration off the snap.
  • super soft, confident hands that can bring in the odd inaccurate ball thrown his way.
  • solid down-field vision makes him a legit yards after catch threat.
  • has the ability to separate when dealing with press coverage.
  • good lateral twitch enables him to take advantage of space in the secondary.
  • showed qualities of being a deep ball threat.
  • experience at quarterback makes him an obvious option on wildcat plays.
  • proven leader during his time at Ohio State.
  • has the drive and work ethic necessary to succeed at next level.

Weaknesses

  • clear lack of experience at the position having just played it for a season.
  • receiving yards/touchdown numbers weren’t eye-popping by any means.
  • needs to expand route tree.
  • wasn’t used much in Ohio State’s intermediate passing game.
  • could use a little more deceptiveness in his route running.
  • might need time to adjust to pro-style concepts.
  • tends to carry the ball too exposed at times after the catch.

NFL Comparison: Terrance Williams

Teams with Need at Position: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams

Projection: early to middle second round

WATCH: Highlights from Braxton Miller’s Combine Workout

Bottom Line

Braxton Miller’s virtually seamless transition to receiver speaks to his incredible ability to pick up a steep learning curve. His leadership as part of an Ohio State senior class that won more games than any other (and that’s saying something at a program like OSU) is a huge plus in the eyes of many NFL scouts. There certainly are obvious concerns about his experience as a pass catcher. But his tantalizing potential and tireless work ethic has him high on the radar of many teams. He looks to be a surefire day two selection.

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