John Miller is not the stereotypical offensive lineman.
“I think that teams have seen I’m a very humble guy,” Miller said following his Pro Day workout on Wednesday. “A hard-working kid. Gentle guy who’s got a nice smile. When you hear the phrase ‘big uglies,’ that don’t apply to me.”
Those differences have helped Miller separate himself as one of the nation’s top guards, someone increasingly rising on NFL draft boards.
The 6-foot-3 Miami native participated in all drills Wednesday in front of all 32 teams, including head coaches Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin and Marvin Lewis. He spoke with personnel from three teams _ Indianapolis, the New York Jets, and San Francisco _ following his workout.
“They all gave me positive feedback, saying that they liked me,” Miller said. “‘Looked good out there,’ that’s what they told me.”
Miller will meet with the Chargers in San Diego on Friday before flying to Buffalo for a two-day visit on Monday. Then he’ll return to Miami to continue training before the draft.
“I’m just trying to take every step in this process very seriously and trying to get better.”
Miller has reached out to an Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood for advice on navigating the draft process.
“I definitely look up to a guy like that,” Miller said of the former Louisville standout drafted in the 2009 first round. “He was on that (2007) Orange Bowl team. A great guy and definitely a hard-working guy.”
Miller is mimicking some of Wood’s weight room workouts and focusing on footwork technique as he continues his path to draft day. He said scouts have mentioned his tendency to “overset” a defender, or overcommitting himself in one direction.
“They told me I need to try and keep more of my weight inside. I kind of get a little rocky with that, so I’m just trying to take that in consideration and build on it.”
After starting 10 games or more in each of his four seasons at Louisville _ including being one of only five true freshman in the country to start along offensive lines in 2011 _ Miller drew particular attention from NFL front offices at the East-West Shrine game in January. Scouts raved about his power during the week and Miller helped open a hole for former teammate Dominique Brown to score the game’s only touchdown.
He kept that momentum going in Indianapolis, running his 40-yard dash in 5.33 seconds at more than 300 pounds.
“The Combine was a great experience, a great four days,” Miller said. “I had a tremendous workout, I thought.”
Miller said Louisville strength and conditioning staff clocked him even faster at Wednesday’s Pro Day.
“He timed me at 5.08,” Miller said of his unofficial time. “I don’t know what the other teams had on their clocks.”
Despite honorable mention All-ACC honors this year and being a four-year starter during the program’s best stretch in history, Miller doesn’t take the next step in his career for granted, calling any landing spot “a godsend.”
“No matter where I get drafted at, it’s all about what you do when you get there,” Miller said. “You want to definitely go in and make an impact.”