The Buffalo Bills had six picks in the 2015 NFL draft. One year after being selected, it’s time to look back on their careers before joining the Bills, their rookie seasons, and what’s in store for them in year two.
With the 81st overall pick in the 2015 draft, the Bills added Louisville offensive guard John Miller. Buffalo was looking to improve the interior of their offensive line and had already signed Richie Incognito to play left guard. Miller, a pre-draft visitor with the Bills, was the odds on favorite to start at right guard for Buffalo.
Before the Bills
Miller had plenty of playing experience at Louisville. In his career, the guard started in 46 games with the Cardinals. Miller was praised for his power and was referred to as a “mauler” at Louisville.
What the Analysts Said
“He is a big, powerful and nasty guy who knows how to play the game. I really like that he always looks to finish blocks and put his man on the ground.”
-Greg Gabriel, National Football Post
"He plays with great base and power in the run game. His upside for me is as a starting guard in the NFL."
"He's very strong and physical. He is strong at the point of attack. I still look at him and think he can get much better."
Miller isn't the most nimble athlete at the guard position and he will be limited by scheme fit, but the pure power in his upper body and his hands have scouts excited and there is a belief that he will be better as a pro than he was in college.
-Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Miller looked strong in training camp and the preseason, and he won the starting job at right guard. Over the course of the 2015 season, Miller started in 12 games with the Bills. He missed time after his mother passed away and due to a high ankle sprain.
"Coming in as a rookie, we have a long process before we even get in the building with the (NFL) Combine prep, doing the Combine, taking visits here and there, different individual workouts with different teams," he said. "Then, you come in, you have rookie minicamp. Then, you come back for OTAs. Then, you got to go back (home) and you've got to train for the summer. Then, you've got to come back, go through camp, which is long. Then, of course, you have the long season.
"So, yeah, mentally, there's a lot coming in as a rookie, trying to get adjusted to the scheme, the knowledge. The speed of the game is tremendously different, even the physicality of it."
Miller's rookie season was a bit of a letdown. The right side of the offensive line was below average in 2015. The right guard flashed at times but will need to be more consistent in year two.
After a tough rookie season, Miller will look to bounce back in his second year. Buffalo has shown plenty of confidence in the guard and have said that Miller will be Buffalo’s starting right guard.
Miller worked this offseason with free agent Louis Vasquez and Evan Mathis to improve as a player. The guard did the right things following his rookie season and he’ll have the chance to take a step forward in 2016.
The left side of Buffalo’s offensive line was a major strength in 2015. If Miller improves in year two, Buffalo’s run game could be even scarier in 2016.