Positives: Miller is a pretty incredible athlete. He is incredibly fast and quick, he is a very fluid athlete and he has a good get-off and very impressive acceleration and speed off of the edge. He seems to go from 0-60 very quickly and he shows good hip flexibility to get the edge and shows the ability to dip his shoulder to get the edge when rushing the passer. He has tons of speed off the edge but also does a good job of darting back inside when the tackle opens his hips up too early which makes him a very dangerous pass rusher as he isn’t only a speed rusher, he can beat you inside too. Miller also showed a lot of fluidity in coverage during the offseason which was good because I had not seen him a lot in that capacity during the season at Texas A&M. He is what a lot of people look for in that he is a “quick-twitch” athlete and that makes him a very valuable commodity. He is a solid tackler and shows good pursuit from the backside, demonstrates some pop as a hitter and has a knack for forcing fumbles when rushing the passer. He also closes well on quarterbacks when he gets around the edge. He plays with effective leverage and shows some ability to shed blocks despite being undersized and does a pretty good job of setting the edge against the run. Seems to have an impressive motor.
Negatives: He needs to get bigger and stronger because he struggles to shed blocks against bigger, stronger players when they get his hands on him and when he is flying off the edge he can be forced wide by a stronger, slower player if he can engage him and sometimes just a shove will do. He needs to get stronger so he can absorb more contact and still remain in control as a pass rusher. I don’t know that he will ever be very effective versus the run but he should at least be able to shed blocks from TE’s and make some TFL’s in the backfield using his burst and elusiveness. He doesn’t have much experience in coverage which has to be a bit concerning, but he has more than enough fluidity and has flashed comfort in space that it shouldn’t be a problem once he gets some experience dropping into coverage during games, though I don’t think he will ever be as good in coverage as some expect him to be. He will also run himself out of plays at times by going too far upfield and this happens a lot when he is using a speed rush. That is coincidentally one of his only pass rush moves, so his pass rush repertoire needs some work and development because right now he is more or less a one trick pony. He could be absolutely lethal if he worked a swim/rip move and a spin move into his game, especially with his great edge speed and acceleration that he already has.
Overall: Von Miller is a very impressive player. He doesn’t have elite size but he has great athletic ability and he makes up for it with that and his great motor. His edge speed is absolutely lethal and it makes his potential very high as an OLB in a 3-4 scheme, but he will need to get stronger before he is able to start. He is definitely vastly more effective standing up than he is with his hand in the dirt, so the 3-4 scheme is the scheme for him. He should be able to contribute as a situational pass rusher right off the bat, but he won’t be able to do much outside of speed rushing OT’s and countering inside if they open up too early in their drops. However, I think he has all-pro potential in the NFL, especially if/when he gets stronger and develops some pass rush moves. I can’t wait to watch Miller if he learns a spin move, he would be the 3-4 version of Dwight Freeney if he pulls that off. He would be borderline unblockable.
Projection: Top 10. I don’t expect him to make it out of the top 5 (heck, he may not make it out of the top three) but Buffalo and Arizona seem like very likely landing spots for him since both of them really need a pass rushing stud and Miller is the best 3-4 OLB prospect in the draft without a doubt.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 3.0
Pass Rush: 4.0
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