Von Miller
6’3, 243 pounds | Outside linebacker | Texas A&M

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.

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.

But if Miller wants to succeed like Matthews has, he has some work to do. Matthews left USC at a similar size as Miller, but he’s bulked up 15 pounds since then. Miller will have to do the same so he can better play the run and handle the load of a 3-4 linebacker. Right now, Miller just doesn’t have the lower body strength to consistently play his side of the field.

Will enter the NFL raw in pass coverage and suspect against the run. Was mostly used at A&M as an upfield player and will start his pro career in the same role. If a team needs someone to purely get after the quarterback, that’s Miller. He could be a big-time mover up draft boards, similar to Matthews two years ago and Koa Misi in 2010.

Struggled early in his senior season due to a knee sprain. Really came on toward the end of 2010 with eight tackles in his final six games. Finished the year with 10.5 sacks.