From now until the 2019 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.
#47 Christian Miller /OLB Alabama – 6’3” 244
- Aggressive jam at the LOS
- Good bend and ankle flexion coming around the edge
- Has the ability to set the edge on runs to his side
- Using long arm and leverage effectively vs OL
- Has some experience in Man coverage in short area and Zone drops to the middle and flat/curl areas
- One year of production; part time player
- Long strider and takes some time getting up to speed
- Not consistently quick off the LOS
- Needs to counter better when first pass rush move doesn’t work
- Limited pass rush move relying on outside rush too often
- Needs to add play strength and improve ability to shed blockers
- Career – 56 tackles, 25 solo, 15.5 TFL, 11 sacks, 2 PBU, 1 FR
- 2018 – 34 tackles, 16 solo, 11 TFL, 8 sacks, 12 QB hurries, 1 PBU, 1 FR
- Missed most of junior year with biceps tear injury and had sports hernia surgery in April 2017
- Played on special teams coverage unit as a sophomore
- Father, Corey Miller, played in the NFL from 1992-99 for the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings
The Alabama Crimson Tide is a breeding program for NFL draft picks. Over the past 2 years they had 22 players drafted including 15 on defense. This year will be no different headed up by players like Quinnen Williams, Mack Wilson and Deionte Thompson.
Another prospect whose name is making the rounds is Christian Miller (#47). A long limbed OLB who was a rotational player in there base defense and brought in on passing downs. He moved around playing in 2 and 3 point stances, on the left and right side playing OLB in their 3 man fronts and lined up as the 5 tech and 6 tech in their 4 man fronts.
He’s a solid run defender as far as keeping himself clean using his hands well to keep defenders off of him and plays with his eyes up into the backfield. He displays good run recognition that doesn’t over pursue on plays away from him and uses leverage and good angles to set the edge on runs to his side. When lined up over the TE, he likes to attempt an aggressive jam to disrupt his release or attack his block. Sometimes it worked, sometimes he whiffed. He needs to work on shedding blockers to be able to make more plays and while taking on pulling OL with his inside shoulder.
Vs Texas A&M, lined up at LOLB over the TE Jace Sternberger (#82). First play of the game and here is that aggressive jam showing quick heavy hands to knock him off balance.
Vs Texas A&M, lined up at ROLB. He avoids the TE block to keep his leverage to the outside and closes quickly on the RB to make the tackle
As a pass rusher, he has solid quickness at the snap, inconsistent at times that can be improved. He prefers to rush outside around the edge. He’ll use chops and club moves on the hands of the OT, uses a long arm with good leverage to get him on his heels and has good bend and ankle flexion to dip under the block. He made limited attempts to rush to the inside of the tackle showing an occasional spin and rip but was unsuccessful in the attempts I saw. Countering is an area that needs work when his initial move didn’t work. He has to work to combine multiple moves to put more stress on the lineman.
Vs Ole Miss, he’s lined up on the left side as a 5 tech and gets good acceleration of the ball. He uses a chop swim with good bend around the edge to get the sack.
Vs Ole Miss, lined up as the 5 tech on the right side. Here’s a good example of the long arm. After swiping the hands of the LT Greg Little (#74) he puts a hand in his chest and uses leverage to get under his pass and push him into the QB’s lap.
At LSU, lined up at ROLB he does a small head fake to the inside and then speed around the edge showing bend from the other side.
At LSU, lined up on right side and uses an unusual technique here. He chops the outside arm and jumps to avoid the LT block and chases the QB out of pocket.
He was used some in coverage, but not enough to get a good gauge on his abilities. He was used on TE and RB in the flat area and dropped to the curl/flat zone and in the middle on dime defense.
Vs Ole Miss, in dime defense he’s in a 2 pt stance over the right guard. Simple zone drop, the technique isn’t pretty but the awareness is solid and he gets in on the tackle.
Vs Texas A&M, he’s lined up at LOLB the flow goes away from him but with eyes on the QB he diagnoses the roll out. Bumps the FB trying to release and trails in coverage and then shows good COD to settle and tackle the QB scrambling.
Overall, there’s ability in Miller especially as a pass rusher. With only one year of production he looks to be a work in progress. He needs some time to work on his overall game but could be used in sub packages to rush the passer. Eventually, he could work his way into a starting role a couple years down the line.
Projection: Early day 3
Games Watched: At Mississippi, Vs Texas A&M, At Tennessee, At LSU, Vs Georgia