Texas A&M pass rusher Von Miller can lock up a first round grade with a strong performance against the Texas Longhorns on Thanksgiving night.
I've spoken to three scouts in the past two weeks regarding Miller. Two of the three believe Miller already may have a spot in the Top 32 secure based on the explosiveness they've seen from him since his early-season struggles with an ankle sprain.
The other steadfastly believes that some of the real reaches in recent draft history have come when teams fall in love with how a player performs when 100%. At this scout notes, players are only 100% for a few weeks in the NFL.
The 6-3, 243 pound Miller lines up in the Joker position for the Aggies. His experience rushing the passer from a stand-up position has led to speculation that teams operating out of the 3-4 would be most interested in him.
While I won't name my sources, I will say one of the two scouts I spoke works for a team that employs (and plans to continue to employ) the 4-3 scheme.
Miller has an explosive burst off the snap. This trait is responsible for many of his most flashiest plays. It is his agility and flexibility, however, that really intrigue scouts. Miller breaks down exceptionally well, showing the balance to make open field tackles.
It is this fluidity (as opposed to stiffness) that scouts are keying in on when determining if a standup pass rusher can make the transition to a full-time outside linebacker position.
Miller led the nation with 17 sacks as a junior, but was hampered with the ankle sprain to start the 2010 season. His breakout performance against Oklahoma earned him my Prospect of the Week award and the top spot in my Weekly Rewind of the prospects whose stock changed in week 10 of the college football season.
Though the Aggies will move Miller around a bit, he'll often line up against the Longhorns' left tackle Kyle Hix. Hix, a left tackle this season after spending the rest of his career on the right side, could be in for a long night.
This game begins at 8:00 pm EST and will be televised by ESPN.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving.