Officially, Braxton Miller ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Officially, Miller isn’t sure that’s true.
The Ohio State product who began his career in Columbus at quarterback before injuries forced him to switch to receiver ran the 40 once against at the Buckeyes’ Pro Day in Columbus on Friday, and ended up with a much faster time.
There are no laser times or official results at Pro Day workouts, but Miller said scouts consistently told him that he clocked in at 4.35 seconds, a time that would have put him in a tie for fifth among all players at last month’s combine. With that improved time – as well as a strong showing catching the ball and running routes – it was mission accomplished for Miller in his last public workout ahead of the NFL Draft.
“Just show that I wasn’t a 4.5 at the combine,” Miller said when asked what his Pro Day goal had been. “My speed, I cherish that, I take pride in that, so I had to come out here and showcase what I did today.”
So with a 0.15 second improvement from his official combine 40, what changed for Miller in the past few weeks?
In his own words, nothing changed. In fact, Miller said he felt the combine number simply didn’t reflect his actual time.
“I don’t think it was a change, I think the time was just weird,” Miller said. “I don’t know if the clock – I don’t know. I felt like I ran faster at the combine than I did here.
“I never ran a 4.5. I never ran that. That’s why I was so upset, I was determined to run faster today. Something isn’t right with that laser timer.”
Now that he has his speed sorted out (albeit unofficially) Miller said he felt great with all facets of his game.
“It went great, I felt great,” Miller said. “I came out here and did my 40, came out here and showcased all the routes, my ability to catch the ball anywhere on the field. I felt great.”
With his Ohio State career, the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine and Pro Day all in the rearview mirror, Miller said he has some individual workouts with teams scheduled between now and the draft, which is set to begin April 28 in Chicago.
Miller is widely projected to be selected sometime in the second or third round of the draft, but could sneak into the first round if any teams were especially impressed by his workouts. With limited opportunities left to prove that he should be among the top 31 picks (the first round will end at 31 this season because the New England Patriots had to forfeit their first pick), Miller said he simply wants to focus on staying in shape and continuing to hone his skills as a receiver in the coming weeks.
“Staying in shape and just working on my routes,” he said. “That’s what you got to do at the next level so that’s what we’re going to be doing.”