Shop for New York Giants gear at Fanatics.com

Prospect Profiles: Von Miller

VON MILLER, OLB, TEXAS A&M

Triangle Numbers: 6-2, 237, 4.6

Scouting Reports:

Sideline Scouting:
Positives: Extremely disruptive pass rusher, is great at collapsing the pocket and forcing quarterbacks to step up into quickly closing space and make bad decisions… Has a high motor, is asked to blitz constantly and does not stop pursuing the quarterback until the ball is downfield… Can deliver crushing blows to opposing quarterback if he takes the right angle, tackles through opponents and does not stop at first contact… Very good at wrap-up tackling, begins many tackles at hip level and then maintains force while wrapping legs of ball carrier… Incredible production, had 27 sacks in the last two seasons… Durability has never been questioned, has never dealt with any serious injuries or missed substantial playing time… High-potential player in the NFL if in the right system and in the right role… Similar to Elvis Dumervil in skill set, can line up in many different fronts as a positional pass rusher… Has shown very good speed for his size… May take some time to develop in the NFL, but has a lot of upside and will always find playing time because of intensity and high motor.

Negatives: Often blitzes much too deep off the end, which allows blockers to push him away from the interior of the pocket with relative ease… Needs to develop quicker change-of-direction pass-rushing moves, tends to take a straight line to the quarterback and end up away from the play… Is purely a pass rusher, does not have the bulk or instincts to change directions and get to the ball carrier on draw and counter plays… Looks like a liability at times, can take himself completely out of big plays by not utilizing multiple pass-rushing techniques… Can get sucked up in the line when rushing inside, does not have the upper-body strength or powerful punch to shed larger blockers at the line… Is simply not an every-down linebacker, does not possess the ability to run with tight ends and running backs in coverage… Is not consistent defending the run, gets out of position easily and often loses track of ball carrier… Not a unique athlete, takes a while to accelerate to top speed.

Sporting News:

Current projection: First-round pick

Vs. the inside run: Does a good job of checking to make sure the play is not breaking back to his responsibility, then explodes down the line and has the speed to chase down the play easily. Flashes the strength to take on fullbacks strong at the point of attack and can shed and make tackles. Isn’t as effective when he has to take on and defeat offensive-line blocks. Grade: 7.5 (with 9.0 being the highest)

Vs. the outside run: Has the tools to be excellent against the outside run—both to his side and the opposite side. Does a good job maintaining outside containment. Can take on and defeat tight end blocks and make tackles. Has outstanding range to chase down plays. Once he identifies the play, can accelerate to full speed in a flash. Has the closing burst to consistently finish plays. Grade: 8.0

Blitz/coverage: Is an elite pass rusher who can change games with his ability to defeat blocks and consistently pressure the QB. Shows the ability to beat tackles inside or outside with a variety of pass-rush. Will need to improve his corner-turning technique by dipping his shoulder when a blocker is leaning on him. Has the quickness, agility and smooth athleticism to cover tight ends in man coverage but needs experience in this area. Grade: 7.0

Pursuit/tackling: Has outstanding range to chase down plays in pursuit. Is generally a good tackler, but at times will get a little upright and straight-legged when he gets close to the ballcarrier, which causes him to overrun the ballcarrier and miss tackles. Moves through traffic with surprising ease. Is able to hurdle and work through low blocks and traffic while maintaining speed. Chases down plays with ease. Grade: 8.0

Bottom line: Miller led the country in sacks as a junior and nearly came out for the 2010 draft. He likely would have been a first-round pick a year ago, but he has looked even better this season. He has lined up as both an end and an outside linebacker and has been productive from both spots. He could play in any NFL scheme but is best suited to play rush linebacker in a 3-4 system.


Coverage:
Has shown some improvement in this area, but was never required to consistently drop back in coverage. That changed some under new coordinator Tim DeRuyter. As such, Miller is raw in his technique and following routes. He has the athleticism to make up for missteps, but can be fooled on double moves. Is better when asked to cover man-to-man than in zone. At times looks lost when there are receivers working behind him.

Instincts/recognition: Miller is a “see ball, get ball” athlete who coaches can let loose. If he’s put in a system where he can freelance, he should be fine. But Miller’s play recognition skills are only decent. He should improve here facing more-complicated looks in the pros. If he doesn’t, it will be hard for Miller to live up to his eye-popping college stats.

Star-divide

Pass rush: Miller was the “joker” for A&M, a hybrid linebacker/defensive end position that allowed him to stand up near the line of scrimmage. The pass rush is where he’ll make his money in the NFL and perhaps garner him a first-round position. Miller is aplomb at working to the outside because of his great first step and follow-up speed. He’s surprisingly strong working to the inside and gets good natural leverage due to his height. But if Miller comes out of his stance too high, offensive linemen can easily neutralize him in space. Miller has a variety of pass rush moves, his best being an inside spin.

Pursuit/Lateral movement and agility: Miller is tenacious in pursuit as long as he’s free to run around. He has good range and lateral fluidity. Has good playing speed for a linebacker to close on the ball carrier. Needs to show more anticipation as he’ll often run himself out of a play.

Quickness: Possesses great quickness off the snap. This is by far Miller’s best feature. Is quick with his footwork and handwork. Can get up to his full speed in an instant. Very explosive out of a two-point stance.

Run defense: Because of what he was asked to do at A&M, Miller is behind the curve in run defense. Looked better in run defense as a senior, but still gives up too much space to the outside. Needs to learn to play more contained and fill gaps. Gets held up by power linemen, especially guards pulling. Because he can’t anchor, teams can elect to run at Miller and have success.

Strength/Ability to shed blocks: Is the kind of player who prefers to run around blockers instead of through them. Doesn’t have the lower body strength to anchor and hold up on the line of scrimmage. Because of that, Miller can be washed out of plays. Is fairly strong in his upper body to hit and tackle.

Final word: Miller is going to make a lot of money thanks to a player like Clay Matthews of the Packers’ They’re very similar in that they played a hybrid pass rusher position in college.

VIDEO:
[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnZSceCN5Yg[/pro-player]
GIANTSGAB THOUGHTS:
I highly doubt that Von Miller gets to 19. Highly doubt it. He’s a top 10 talent, and I think a team like Dallas would think he would look perfect next to DeMarcus Ware. Let’s say, for some odd reason, Von Miller slides down to 19.  Do the Giants take him? Yes, but I think it’s the wrong pick. They take him because he’s the best pure pass rusher in this draft, the best linebacker. But, he is, I think, best suited for the 3-4 outside linebacker position. He played it in college. His skills are more suited for it. Can he make the transition to 4-3 strongside ‘backer? Sure. But, he won’t reach his full potential at that position. He will reach it at 3-4, and his ceiling is very high. Miller won’t get past the top 10, I think, so unless the Giants trade up, they won’t have Miller on their radar. Fantastic player, though.

Enjoyed this post?
Subscribe to Giants Gab via RSS Feed or E-mail and receive daily news updates from us!

Submit to Digg  Stumble This Story  Share on Twitter  Post on Facebook  Post on MySpace  Add to del.icio.us  Bark It Up  Submit to Reddit  Fave on Technorati

One Response to “Prospect Profiles: Von Miller”

  1. Jason C. says:

    I think this is the guy the Giants are targeting at 19, it’s possible he goes higher, but there’s a lot of names moving up the boards, like always. I’m still partial to Ingram, but to me this guy will be a good second option.

Leave a Reply