The Patriots love drafting or signing players that they can develop, especially when they are transitioning from another position. Bill Belichick sees certain talents in players no matter where they be lined up in college, or rugby and wrestling for that matter, he just sees a skill set and tries to make football players out of athletes. New England has also gone the route of drafting a former quarterback and turning him into a receiver, selecting Julian Edelman out of Kent State when nobody expected him to get drafted. Edelman is the best slot receiver in the game now and one of the keys to New England's offensive success over the last three seasons.
New England is now reported to have interest in another former quarterback, but they've seen what this player can do at wide receiver. Braxton Miller, wide receiver and former quarterback, is one of the players Belichick and Co. is hoping is available when they're on the clock at 60. They also have enough picks to go up and get him if they deem his value high enough. Some of you are probably asking- why are you pushing the Ohio State wide receivers on us this week? First it was Michael Thomas, and now it's Braxton Miller; what gives?
Well, it's simple- both of them are excellent pro prospects that are completely different types of receivers with different physical attributes the Patriots like. Miller would give them athleticism that they simply don't have, and he would also give Tom Brady another dangerous deep target that can open up things underneath for the lethal short passing game the Patriots deploy. Miller will develop as a route-runner as his career goes on, and that will make him even more dangerous.
In his one season playing wide receiver, Miller finished with 24 catches, 329 yards, three touchdown catches, 40 rushes, 234 yards, and one touchdown run. Miller ran a 4.40 forty yard dash at the Ohio State Pro Day, and he ran a 4.50 at the Combine. One measurable test the Patriots are most concerned in is the three-cone drill, and Miller was the best wide receiver in the 2016 class with a 6.65 seconds result. Miller was also the top receiver in the 20 yard and 60 yard shuttle run. Miller's size is also attractive to teams; he's 6'1, 201 pounds, a perfect build for an NFL wide receiver.
Miller also has intangibles the Patriots are looking for, specifically the trait he carries of being a winner. Miller was part of the winningest group in NCAA history, and he was a huge part of what they accomplished. He also proved that he's a team player when he took the position change, which would help the team, instead of transferring to a major program where he would have been a starting quarterback. Ironically, moving to wide receiver is going to give Miller a better chance to thrive in the NFL. He appeared to be a backup NFL quarterback at best.
It will take time for Miller to improve his route running, and there are other subtle things that veteran wide receivers learn how to do that he must learn also, but if he takes the coaching he's going to receive in the NFL, he has a chance to possibly be one of the top wide receivers from this 2016 Draft class.
Check out Miller following the Ohio State Pro Day, courtesy of the Orange and Brown Report :
Highlight video courtesy of Harris Highlights/YouTube
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