Name: OLB Von Miller
School: Texas A&M
Size: 6'3, 246 lbs
Expected Round: 1st, Top 10
3 Cone: 6.70s
40 Time: 4.42s
Career Stats: Click Here
Strengths: Possesses freak speed and athleticism. Incredible first step. Will make a play if given a free release. Agile and fluid enough to develop into a coverage linebacker. Four years of experience, two years of elite production. Relentless rusher with a phenomenal final burst. Built to be a linebacker who will greatly benefit from the standing position. Okay tackler.
Weaknesses: Too small to consistently set the edge against the run. Struggles to disengage from strong blockers. Needs to add a lot of weight in order to be a consistent pass rushing linebacker, or else he'll get dominated by stronger linemen. Will be run at by opposing offenses. Played at 237 lbs, which is a lot lighter than the weight he'll be playing at at 3-4 OLB (most likely will add 20+ pounds). Will only succeed if given free releases.
Why and Why Not the Patriots after the jump, and my final verdict!
Why the Patriots?: The Patriots are supposedly looking for a smaller outside linebacker to complement Jermaine Cunningham. Well, Von Miller is that guy. He has the speed and athleticism to rush the quarterback as well as the fluidity to learn how to drop into coverage.
Why Not the Patriots?: Miller should go in the top 5 and he's not worth trading up to pick. He struggles against the run. He doesn't have the frame to be a larger edge setter. When you watch him play, his production is usually on free releases and can be stopped by any blocker who engages.
Verdict: Miller will be successful in the NFL if he's allowed to roam free in the defense. If he can set up and have his own role of "crash the backfield", he'll do well. If he's asked to play in a traditional defense that requires a player to play an established role (read: Patriots), he won't succeed. He's a player who has to be unleashed and not contained to a role. His NFL production will depend on his freedom. It won't be with the Patriots.