Dolphins trade up and add RB Lamar Miller of Miami with their 4th round pick
Written by Tony Simmons
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Miami added another playmaker in the 4th round, as they pick RB Lamar Miller of Miami. Projected to be a possible 1st, early 2nd round pick, Miller drops to the top of the 4th round. The Dolphins add a 5'10 1/4, 212 lbs running back with 4.36 40 speed and is a homerun threat from any part of the field.
Miller is an early-entry true junior from Miami who really surprised in 2011, his first year as a starter. Miller has put together enough solid tape to garner a late first-round value and should continue to excite and ascend as he displays his athletic ability throughout the pre-draft process.
Miller has track speed and actually ran a few anchor legs for the Miami track team prior to his junior year. Once in the open field, he is a threat to take it the distance and is not only a straight-line, long-speed runner; Miller has even more impressive quickness off the snap and in tight areas to avoid and stay productive. He hardly ever gets stuck in the backfield and is reliable to get positive yardage on each carry.
Miller has only one full season of tape and was rather ineffective as a runner prior to this year. He relies on speed and leg drive to gain yards. He won't be able to juke linebackers at the next level or bail himself out of bad spots with his feet. He runs like a power back at times, which could be a liability in the NFL at his size.
"2009: Redshirt 2010: (11/1) 108-664-6 with 11-96-0 receiving 2011: (12/12) 227-1,272-9 with 17-85-1 receiving Career: 15-376-1 KORs "
Excellent top-end speed to go along with average size.
Injured left shoulder in late-September of 2011 and played through injury most of season. Underwent surgery on December 20th. Injury prevented him from participating fully at the Combine but rehab is ahead of schedule. Only has 335 career carries.
Team player. Coaches rave about football character.
More competitive runner prior to shoulder injury in September 2011. Aggressive inside runner even though he's not a physical back. Not a great finisher. In the upper-echelon of 2012 RB class in ball security. Fumbled three times (lost two) on 381 career touches (0.79percent) -- that's second-best among the top-12 RBs that we charted.
Does an excellent job of making penetrating defenders miss in the backfield and shows a natural feel for sidestepping. Is shifty but does not get caught dancing much. Shows outstanding feel for cutback lane and knows when to make the second-level cut.
Elite lateral agility and acceleration (5:02 first quarter vs. BC 2011 is one of dozens of great examples on tape). In same class as Chris Johnson in this department. Few have his combination of quickness and speed. Squeezes through tiny creases. Shows ability to stop-and-start with almost no wasted motion. Accelerates off his cut and can string together double moves seamlessly.
Ran noticeably harder prior to shoulder injury but has never been an overpowering back. Runs with decent balance but not with a wide base. Gets cut down too easily. Lacks power to consistently break tackles.
Adequate ball skills. Capable of plucking ball on run but not a natural and struggles to adjust at times. Can be a huge threat after the catch. A diver in pass pro. Loves to try to cut defenders. Needs to learn to take on as a blocker. Needs to get stronger in order to hold up at point of attack in pass pro.
• Good height with room on frame to get even bigger • Athletic w/ excellent speed, agility and terrific burst • Natural runner with fantastic instincts and patience • Nimble feet to cut back and pick way through hole • Displays the ability to get outside and turn corner • Soft hands and good ball skills as a pass catcher • Threat to break away / take all the way to house • Tough and has proven willing to play through pain • Can also contribute as return man on special teams • Solid production with outstanding program pedigree • Still developing and has a lot of untapped potential
• Was rarely healthy and durability a major concern • Narrow frame with pretty thin lower body and legs • Gets tall and must work on keeping pad level down • Isn't overly aggressive and is too patient at times • Not a particularly physical, strong, powerful runner • Lacks top-end elusiveness to make defenders miss • Is merely an average blocker, at the absolute best • A limited track record and relatively inexperienced
• Missed two games with nagging shoulder ailment in 2010 • Hampered by shoulder issue in 2011 that required surgery
Just a one-year starter for the Hurricanes --- Named 2nd Team All-ACC in 2011 --- Also competed with the Miami (FL) track team --- Averaged 25.1 yards with 1 touchdown on 15 kick returns in college --- Recorded the third-best single-season rushing total in program history --- Is the next in a long line of great running backs to come out of Coral Gables, following in the footsteps of guys like Edgerrin James, Willis McGahee and Frank Gore --- Optimal fit at the next level might come in a zone blocking scheme --- Emerging player who doesn't have a lot of mileage on tires --- A talented runner with some dynamic traits who projects as a starter in the NFL as long as injuries don't continue to be a problem.
A home-run threat in college, Miller's 4.40 Combine 40 was the fastest among all running backs despite his relatively thick build of 5-foot-11, 212 pounds. He has a fairly lengthy injury history, however, and offered little in the passing game at Miami. With Reggie Bush under contract for $4.5 million, Miller may not see many touches as a rookie, but could be a part of an intriguing thunder/lightning duo with Daniel Thomas beginning in 2013.
After doing well in his only full year as a starter, Miller has decided to enter the draft although many scouts think he needs to learn a little more in college. But with an eye on the cash and a concern over getting beat up in college, he is convinced it is, as teammates call him, "Miller Time." He is a tough runner with deceptive second-gear acceleration, both of which serve him well as a kickoff returner. In his only full season as a starter last year, Miller finished second in the ACC with 1,272 yards rushing on 227 carries with nine touchdowns. The third-year sophomore's career included 1,918 yards, 335 carries, 15 touchdowns, 28 catches for 181 yards, and 15 kickoff returns for 376 yards and his most memorable college play, a dazzling 88-yard return for a touchdown against Ohio State in 2010.
Inside: Balanced athlete with dynamic start/stop ability and smooth change-of-direction skills to stay patient before bursting upfield. Has very good vision and cutback ability, doing a nice job finding the run lanes. Follows his blocks and stays patient behind the line of scrimmage. Not overly explosive and goes down too easily, struggling to create on his own. Too patient at times and looks indecisive - questionable feel and instincts between the tackles. Freelances a lot and needs to allow the designed play to develop. Relies too much on the big play and needs to learn to be content with positive gains.
Outside: Accelerates and gets to top speed quickly when he sees daylight. Has nimble feet to make defenders miss and shows an extra gear to run away from them as well. Very good at forcing defenders to take poor angles with his lateral quickness and natural burst. Fast through the hole and a home run threat. Looks most comfortable on the outside and in space.
Breaking tackles: An upright runner with a narrow frame -- won't break many tackles. Has improved body strength and stays coordinated through contact -- runs hard and fights for every yard. Lacks much strength to power through tackles and doesn't have the body type to withstand a heavy beating. Suspect ball security and tends to wear down over the course of a game.
Blocking: Wasn't asked to stay in the pocket much as a pass protector and needs extensive technique work in this area.
Receiving: Effective pass catcher with good ball skills and body control to make tough grabs. Had only 28 catches over his collegiate career and has limited experience in this area. Intangibles: Has experience as a return man on kickoffs with 15 returns for 376 yards (25.1-yard average) and one touchdown in his career. Good production but suspect durability, playing most of the past season with a shoulder issue and will struggle with injuries. Started the 2011 season with five straight 100-yard games, but finished with just two in the final seven games. Lacks the size to be a bell-cow back. Still growing at the position and is not yet a finished product -- will he put in the necessary work to reach his potential? -- Dane Brugler