The Bengals have addressed their biggest need of the offseason by trading for Cordy Glenn while moving back to pick number 21. The team still will likely look to add a rookie to their competition at right tackle during the draft. Kolton Miller could be that guy as he receives more and more draft hype. It’s thought Miller will be drafted in the first round and ESPN’s Mel Kiper even has him mocked to the Bengals in his latest mock draft.
But, Miller really shouldn’t be a first round pick, especially for the Bengals who have missed on too many (two to many) early-round offensive tackles in recent years. Miller is an intriguing prospect to NFL teams because he could end up being one of the largest tackles in the NFL. He is 6’9” and 309 pounds and he could easily add some weight to his frame. With that said, there are some glaring weaknesses in his game that offer major cause for concern and should be red flags for Cincinnati.
Weight: 309 pounds
Class: Junior (redshirt)
Position: Offensive tackle
Projected Round: Rounds 1-2
40-yard dash: 4.95 seconds
Bench press: 24 reps
Vertical jump: 31.5”
Broad Jump: 121.0”
3 cone drill: 7.34 seconds
20 yard shuttle: 4.49 seconds
Miller is a big guy, and there is a notion that bigger guys make better tackles. However, the reality is that these taller tackles usually struggle in the NFL. A lot of time if they aren’t athletic enough they don’t last long at all. (See: Cedric Ogbuehi.)
Miller had a good Scouting Combine. He finished near the top of all the athleticism drills except for the bench press, with which he struggled (24 reps). While this is what you want to see from a bigger tackle like Miller there are still doubts.
Miller struggles with athleticism. He may have had enough to get by in college, but he will see his fair share of speed rushers at the pro level. Even in college he had a tendency to get run by, and sometimes he even had to resort to chasing the pass rusher. Miller can learn some better technique in order to use his length to make up for that lack of speed, but he doesn’t have elite arm length.
Miller will also have issues with leverage at the NFL level. In the run game at UCLA he was able to lean on weaker linemen to get a push up field sometimes, but more often then not he’d get stood up at the line of scrimmage. Again technique could help fix some of these issues though.
Overall I’m not sure Miller will ever be a left tackle on a consistent basis for an NFL team. I don’t think he will be a bust, but I do think it will take him sometime to get his legs under him in the NFL. Even once he does though, the ceiling isn’t very high for Miller.
How he fits with the Bengals
Miller would be an ideal pick if he slides in the draft. Since the team already traded for Glenn and now has some competition at the right tackle spot, there wouldn’t be too much pressure for Miller to start right away. I don’t think the Bengals can draft this guy and expect to throw him out there to play his rookie season though.
Frank Pollack may be the perfect coach for Miller to fall to. He would be able to find the right fit for him and really maximize the talent that Miller has yet to unearth.
This draft class lacks many top tier tackles, but there are plenty of second tier tackles the Bengals could look to add to the mix. For some reason, Miller is getting a lot of buzz in the final stretch to the draft with some analysts actually saying he’s the top offensive tackle and will be the first off-the-board at the position. The Bengals seem to have more interest in Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey though and likely have him ranked as their top tackle. Unless Miller falls to Round 2 (and becomes more of a value pick), don’t expect to see him in stripes.