MIAMI - NOVEMBER 20: Lamar Miller #6 of the Miami Hurricanes runs for a touchdown during a game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Sun Life Stadium on November 20 2010 in Miami Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Name: Lamar Miller
Position: RB, KR
School: Miami U
Class: RS Sophomore
Weight: 212 lbs
Scouted by: Joe Goodberry
Speed, Acceleration: Lamar Miller will make his name in the NFL because of his elite top-end speed. He's a threat to go the distance from anywhere and is usually the fastest player on the field. Even his acceleration is top-notch. Miller can stop, quickly gather himself and be at full-speed within a few steps. Miller has a smooth running style and glides across the field. It looks effortless; although I noticed that his feet are going 100 mph and he needs to slow himself down to regain his balance. Miller shows good patience on runs to the outside and has a burst and toughness through the hole that makes him different from other speed runners.
Agility, Change-of-Direction: Miller almost runs too fast to cut quickly on one foot and turn upfield at full speed. He usually stomps his feet to slow down and then resets because he knows he can quickly regain his speed and outrun defenders. I wouldn't classify Miller as a violent slasher type of back like a LeSean McCoy but Miller does display the agility to make defenders miss when he needs to.
Strength: Lamar Miller is listed at 212 lbs. He has a slight thickness from the waist down but he looks like he can add a few pounds of upper-body strength. He runs hard and doesn't necessarily avoid contact or look to run outside. He will run between the tackles and drop a shoulder into a defender. He may not break those tackles but he doesn't run scared or weak.
Hands, Ball Security: Miller displays solid pass catching abilities and ball security. He holds the ball high and tight and only really allows it to separate from his body while he's juking. Miller only caught 17 passes this year, and while I saw him drop a few easy balls, his lone TD showed off some rare receiving abilities for a RB. He's going to play a big role in the passing game in the NFL, he just needs more experience.
Awareness, Vision: One of Miller's best attributes is his vision and ability to find a cutback lane at the beginning of the play or while in traffic. If he sees it early enough, Miller can turn those cutback runs into huge gains. In the open field, Miller can be very dangerous. He understands pursuit angles and uses them against over-aggressive defenders. His instincts really take over when he's surrounded by defenders and he finds a way to squeak out a few more yards.
Yards After Contact: Lamar Miller isn't going to break many tackles, but he almost never leaves himself vulnerable to a clean hit or a wrap-up tackle. He's constantly moving or cutting against the pursuit and defenders usually only get one hand on Miller. This leads to alot of missed tackles and extra yardage. Miller has a very effective juke move that he pulls out in open space. Lamar Miller had alot of runs that went for -2 to 2 yards because he's not going to power through many tacklers and that's the area where he'll face the most contact.
Pass Protection: Every rookie RB must learn the nuances of protecting the franchise QB. Miller is no different. He showed the mental capacity to pick up the collegiate level blitz packages but in the NFL he'll need to get stronger and play more aggressive in this aspect of the game. Miller will be a threat every time he runs out for a pass, so I could see him contributing early on 3rd downs even without learning to protect better.
Final Analysis: Lamar Miller is a home run waiting to happen. Almost every team in the league is looking for that type of player. Speed kills and that part of Miller's game will make him a coveted player come April. While I do have some concern about Miller, the concern comes with any of the speed RBs we've seen over the past few drafts. They live off of their speed and when they get to the NFL, they find out they're not so fast anymore. I think Miller shows the patience, vision and toughness to be successful at the next level. At the very least, he'll be a contributor as a kick returner and 3rd down RB.
Player Comparison: Felix Jones
Draft Projection: Top 25
Games Watched: Maryland (2011), North Carolina (2011), Virginia Tech (2011), Ohio State (2011)
Honors: 2nd Team All-AC 2011