04/30/2012 - Offensive tackle Ryan Miller was taken with the 160th overall pick. The pick that originally belonged to the Vikings was acquired in 2010 in the Brady Quinn trade. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I try to play nasty. I might not be the most technically sound, but I'll bleed, bite, claw and scratch to get the job done." - Offensive lineman Ryan Miller, the Browns 160th draft pick. - The Sports Xchange
The nation is familiar Columbine High School for all the wrong reasons, as the 1999 shooting of 12 students and a teacher by two disturbed young men shocked America. Miller was only ten years old when that incident happened, but unfortunately he must expect plenty of questions from NFL teams and media alike during the draft process about how growing up in post-shooting environment shaped him as a person and player.
The state Gatorade Player of the Year, and USA Today and Parade high school All-American was a huge land for CU. It was no surprise, therefore, when Miller started seven of 10 games played as a true freshman at right tackle, garnering Freshman All-American recognition from multiple media outlets. He started the first four games of 2008 at right tackle, but wound up taking a medical redshirt after breaking his fibula against Florida State. Miller started the first seven games of his junior year at right guard, then moved to right tackle for the final five due to injuries along the line. He earned honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors for the second straight season after starting all 12 games at right guard in 2010.
Miller already has NFL-caliber size, strength, and agility, but scouts will have to decide where his best fit will be at the next level. Few teams use players of his height inside, but while flashing the agility needed to play tackle he has to prove himself able to handle NFL speed on the edge. Either way, teams will find it difficult to pass on his physical attributes and toughness in the early rounds of the draft.
Pass blocking: Possesses tackle size and strength, along with natural bend. Strong punch knocks back or re-routes rushers. Tough anchor, hard to move against bull rushes. Owns lateral agility to help tackle if uncovered, hustles around the pocket if defender could get secondary rush. Inconsistent extending his arms initially, allows rushers to get into his body. Fair recovery if shed, though, moves his feet and uses his length to knock rushers off their path.
Run blocking: Powerful run blocker capable of moving tackles out of the hole with his upper body. Stays low despite his height to get leverage, moves his feet to push the pile or maintain the line of scrimmage. Agile enough to block on the move, whether coaches move the pocket or using his frame and quick feet to ensure defender is cleared on zone plays. Adds himself to piles to push them forward. Extends his arms during the play to exercise his dominance. Relies on his size to stop his man, needs to get his hands into their jersey to prevent them from swimming past or ripping off.
Pulling/trapping: Even with tackle size, Miller has nimble enough feet to trap inside. Uses length and agility to take out targets in his direct path, but also flexibility and vision to adjust to inside targets in close quarters. His chest presents big target for NFL defenders to hit, and will create a pile in the hole if tripped up due to his height.
Initial Quickness: Quick off the snap for his size. Even if allowing some penetration in pass protection, moves his feet and extends arms to keep defender from turning towards the passer. Hooks inside defenders on run plays to prevent backside tackles. Effective combo blocker, owning strength to chip down in either direction and agility to reach linebackers. Needs to get his hands up more quickly into his man's jersey or NFL defenders will beat him initially.
Downfield: Effective reaching the second level and beyond as a run blocker. Easily directs safeties and linebackers directly in his path out of running lanes. Used as personal pass protector for quarterbacks outside the pocket and in front of screens. Lacks elite change of direction to grab smaller targets but gives effort, gets down quickly to take them out if his way.
Intangibles: Versatile player with experience at right tackle and guard. Works hard in the weight room and practice field. Received medical redshirt in 2008 after breaking his fibula (leg). No known character or off-field issues.