2007 Draft: Top TE Draws A Crowd

It's not that the Patriots need another tight end, it's that they've always drafted them when they had more pressing needs. One tight end that bears watching is ASU's Zach Miller. The Patriots have been scouting tight ends, so drafting one - again - is not out of the question.

After the NFL combine, ex-Sun Devils tight end Zach Miller felt that he had a good showing that was adversely affected by a slow 40-yard time and dropped balls. At the friendly confines of ASU's Kajikawa field, Miller's Pro Day performance was a gem, described by some scouts in attendance as a first-round prospect workout.

After being clocked in the Indianapolis combine running a 4.86 in the 40-yard dash, Zach Miller was able to shave more than one-tenth of a second in the Pro Day event.

"Everything worked out real good today," he said. "I got good feedback from the scouts and that's good to hear. I ran between a 4.71 and 4.73, and that's how I thought I should have run in the NFL combine. I ran the shuttle at a 4.36 and that was better than the combine too. So I helped myself there and also running routes and catching passes today."

Miller had 16 reps benching 225 lbs. He didn't get tested doing the vertical jump, because he registered 34 inches in Indianapolis.

Miller laughed at the notion that he may have had a chip on his shoulder coming into Pro Day, but did admit that he was much more relaxed today that the NFL combine.

"Being at a place that I practiced at the last three years, having all my teammates around here pumped me up even more," he commented. "At the NFL combine you feel drained after the fourth day and I didn't feel the same as I felt here today."

He added that he does realize that some scouts do value the NFL combine over various Pro Days because it's held at a neutral site and under time-stressed conditions. On the other hand Miller contended that: "A lot of this goes back to film. If they like you on game film, they'll like you better than other players."

Arizona State tight end Zach Miller, right, celebrates with offensive lineman Mike Pollak after Miller caught a pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of No. 22 Arizona State's 21-3 victory over Colorado in a non-conference college football game in Boulder, Colo., on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2006. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

And his solid workout was rounded out by personal invites to the facilities of two teams.

"The Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders said that they want to come out and have me work out some more for them. But no more running 40's and stuff like that (laughs)."

The Raiders reportedly plan to fly Miller out to their training facility for an interview and workout next week.
"It would be nice to reunite with my 56-catch quarterback," he remarked considering the prospect of playing with ex-Sun Devil and current Raiders signal caller Andrew Walter. "Nothing wrong with that."

With Walter the only quarterback on the Raiders roster, it may even come to that if the Raiders follow up by selecting Miller - provided he lasts until their second round pick.

The Patriots have scouted or met with most of the top tight ends in their pre Draft preparations including Minnesota's Matt Spaeth and Georgia's Martrez Milner. They are unlikely to spend one of their two first-round picks on Miller. If they pass on him, Miller will be long gone by the third round. New England does not possess a second round pick (traded to Miami for Wes Welker).

DevilsDigest.com contributed to this story

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