NFL Draft Q&A With Zach Miller

Arizona State's Zach Miller is one of the top two tight ends in the country, and he talked to's Ed Thompson just before heading out on his pre-draft visits last week. Learn more about him and the teams that have been showing interest in him in this exclusive interview.

Ed Thompson: Well Zach, are you holding up okay through this whole process?

Zach Miller: Yea, the whole process has been good to me and now I am going through a lot of stuff I never experienced before. But it's been fun over all.

ET: Tell me about some of those new things and what's been the hardest part to adjust to...

ZM: It's a lot different than college. You are treated more as a professional and it's a business. You know, when the draft comes around, ultimately, you are going to be employed for an NFL team, so the whole atmosphere kind of changes.

ET: Let's talk about your formal interviews at the Combine because those can end up being interesting depending on who you find yourself talking to...

ZM: I had eighteen one-on-one interviews with just me and the whole coaching staff or general managers and a lot of guys in the room. I bounced around to a lot of teams there. You know, Jon Gruden in the Tampa Bay meeting and then Ken Whisenhunt was asking all the questions for the Cardinals, so there were a lot of head coaches I got to talk to.

(Doug Benc/Getty Images)
ET: Were there any meetings or interviews that were sort of offbeat or a little bit different from the others that really stuck out in your memory?

ZM: With some of them, you would walk right in and they throw film on right away and have you explain what you are doing on this play. They had some games from last year and they would say "what's the idea of this play?" Or they get you up on the white board and have you draw your favorite play and what your thought process is--and just try to get an insight into what you think about football and what you have learned so far.

ET: Did you get many questions about coming out as a junior versus waiting until after your senior year?

ZM: Yea, a lot of teams asked me that. My answer is the same for all of them. I felt like I have accomplished everything I wanted to in college and I was ready for the next level.

ET: What do you think are the main strengths they are seeing in you, Zach, that will help you at the pro level?

ZM: I think a lot of teams, after watching a lot of film, notice how good of a blocker I am. I never got much credit for it and was always called a receiving tight end, but a lot of the teams think I am a better blocker than a receiver. I can be a complete tight end--I'm able to both receive and block at that level.

ET: You also did something pretty amazing coming in as a freshmen and starting right away. How do you go about coming in out of high school and getting the attention of the coaches to that level?

ZM: Well, I wanted to come in and start right away. I knew I had a good chance by looking at the players that were at ASU, the tight ends that were at ASU. The coaches said that I had a good opportunity, so, I tried my best to learn the offense as quick as I could. You know, before I even got to camp, I started to learn it a little bit. At camp, I just did what I could to impress the coaches and make plays so that I would get a chance to play and start as a true freshman.

ET: What is it that you think makes you such an effective receiver out there? What distinguishes you in this draft class as a receiver?

ZM: I think that as a receiver I have the ability to get open and make the tough catches in traffic. I have a lot of experience getting to the ball and getting hit so I think that that is something I do well--open up the middle of the field and catch the ball down the middle of the field in traffic. I think that is something that is required for the NFL.

ET: I saw that your nickname is "The Truth."

ZM: (laughs) Yea, I was given that before I even started at ASU during summer workouts. Ricardo Stewart said I had all this hype from high school being ranked the number one tight end in high school and I have to live up to it. So one day out there I caught a one-handed pass and he started calling me "The Truth" from that point on.

ET: Were there any teams that approached you during Pro Day to chat or to touch base with you?

ZM: I had dinner the night before the Pro Day with a Bears scout and a Seattle scout. They're friends so they took me out to dinner and had a long talk. It was good, I like those guys.

ET: Any personal work outs or visits so far?

ZM: I'm going to New Orleans on Monday and I come back Tuesday and then I go to Miami Wednesday and come back Thursday.

Learn more about Zach Miller by visiting his player profile page.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the network and syndicated through's NFL team pages.

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