NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Memphis WR Anthony Miller

From now until the 2018 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#3 Anthony Miller /Memphis WR – 5’11” 190 lbs.

The Good:

– Quick choppy feet.
– Well done head fakes that set up his coverage
– Tracks ball well in the air
– Does a good job shielding defender from ball
– Catches ball at highest point
– Creates separation, then makes receptions in stride
– Dangerous in open field, can look like a slalom skier weaving in and out
– Can play on the inside or outside and is usable in the return game

The Bad:

– Will be turning 24 years old in October
– Some wasted motion running routes
– Didn’t run at Combine due to injury in bowl game, looks more quick than fast on tape
– Doesn’t seem to run his short routes with same zeal and patience as longer ones
– Concentration issues
– Runs a bit tall, allowing for defenders to cause more damage when making a tackle
– Not much of a blocker, but in fairness didn’t do a lot of it

Bio:

– Former high school champion in hurdles and long jump
– Holds his high school records in triple jump, long jump, 300m hurdles, and 110m hurdles
– Former walk-on player at Memphis
– 2016 Second team All-American Conference
– Collegiate career totals: played in 38 games, had 238 receptions for 3,590 with 37 touchdowns, rushed 31 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns, completed 1 pass out of 3 attempts for 35 yards, returned 6 kickoffs for 136 yards, and returned 20 punts for 136 yards as well
–Was a redshirt his freshman year and had an preseason injury that made him miss 2014

Tape Breakdown:

With the Memphis Tiger offense in a spread formation in the Cyclone red zone, #3 lines up split out wide left in the slot. He freezes in his spot at the snap, catches the ball out in front, keeping his eyes on the blockers, accelerates while bobbing and weaving, then diving for the touchdown. This play shows his quick feet, slalom open field skills, and nice vision near the end zone.

Lined up on the line of scrimmage in a spread formation on the three receiver side, Miller is facing off coverage that is almost 8 yards away. At the snap, #3 races past his corner, flipping his hips running a post route. He gets a little separation, tracks the ball well in the air, and makes a nice reception by fully extending to grab the pigskin. The Tiger receiver does a nice job of making sure his hands are underneath the ball and he lays out to make the catch with the defender close by.

Split out wide left on a third and 1 with the UCF Golden Knights lined up to defend the run, #3 attacks his corner at the snap of the ball. He swats away the defender while looking inside for the pass. Miller creates a crease to make the reception, but drops it. The pigskin hit him in the hands, but the wideout appears to be thinking about the green open space in front of him instead of securing the ball first. It’s these concentration lapses that are concerning.

On top of the your screen, our hero is lined up facing a corner giving him an 8 yard cushion in the Huskies red zone. #3 explodes off the line of scrimmage, uses a double move to create 6 inches of separation, shields the ball from the defender, tracks the pigskin while catching it at its highest point. Miller does a nce job of getting both feet down for the score. This play demonstrates that the former Tiger is quite the scoring threat, especially near the endzone.

Anthony Miller played in a spread heavy offense and he took full advantage of defenders with his quick feet and long ball tracking. I believe he is a very good receiver who could be a good match fo the Steelers; however, his age and lack of concentration are certainly concerns. If the former Tiger is available at the end of the third round, he could be in consideration if Pittsburgh has already addressed their bigger defensive needs. I doubt Miller lasts until the fifth round, but he would be a huge get if available.

Projection: Last Day 2 or Early Day 3

Games Watched: vs. Iowa State, vs. UCLA, @ UCF, @ UConn

Previous 2018 NFL Draft Player Profiles
Sam Darnold Garret Dooley Calvin Ridley Fred Warner Ronald Jones II
Maurice Hurst Mike McCray DeShon Elliott  Malik Jefferson Ogbo Okoronkwo
Trayvon Henderson Josh Rosen Ronnie Harrison Kallen Ballage Cedric Wilson Jr.
Micah Kiser Will Hernandez Leighton Vander Esch Josh Allen   Harold Landry
Marquis Haynes  Tremaine Edmunds Kerryon Johnson Lorenzo Carter  Sony Michael
Kyzir White  Rashaan Evans  Tegray Scales  Isaac Yiadom  Jeff Holland
 Rashaad Penny John Kelly Bo Scarbrough  Roquan Smith  Durham Smythe
 Mark Walton  Josey Jewell  PJ Hall  Dorian O’Daniel  Josh Adams
 Leon Jacobs  Marcus Davenport  Jack Cichy  Royce Freeman  Nick DeLuca
 Vita Vea  Darrel Williams  Mason Rudolph  Shaun Dion Hamilton  MJ Stewart
 Derwin James  Kameron Kelly Justin Reid Sam Hubbard Da’Ron Payne
DaeSean Hamilton Nyheim Hines Arden Key Hercules Mata’afa Jason Cabinda
Marcus Allen Michael Gallup Jessie Bates III Kemoko Turay Genard Avery
Hayden Hurst Dallas Goedert Andrew Brown Allen Lazard Davin Bellamy
Phillip Lindsay Jalyn Holmes DJ Chark Mike Gesicki Derrius Guice
Justin Jackson Simmie Cobbs Jr.
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