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Scouting Profile: Wide Receiver Anthony Miller

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 3, 2018

Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller may be falling down draft boards due to his foot injury

Anthony Miller, Memphis

Height: 5’11”
Weight: 201 pounds
40-yard dash: N/A
Vertical: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A

It was a bummer that Miller had to sit out the majority of drills at the NFL Combine, as he’s been recovering from a foot fracture that he suffered in the Liberty Bowl game against Iowa State on December 30th. It’s a huge concern for the highly productive wide receiver, as we’ve witnessed a lot of NFL players miss extended periods of time with foot issues.

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While on the field, Miller was one of the nation’s most productive receivers, totaling over 1,400 yards in both his junior and senior years. He also managed to score 32 touchdowns, though the offense he played in averaged 45.7 points per game, which was second in all of college football. It’s still rather impressive that he scored at least one touchdown in 10-of-13 games in 2017.

Size/Versatility: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Played on both perimeter and slot during his time at Memphis, but it’s tough to project him to continue that at the next level. He projects as a slot receiver at the next level, though it’s good to know that he has the experience on the perimeter. He gets an average grade on his size because of the way he plays. He’s not really a quick slot guy, but he’s also not built to be a massive tackle-breaking slot receiver. If it wasn’t for his experience on the perimeter, he’d be graded as below-average in this category.

Route Running/Ability to Separate: 3.0 out of 5 stars
He’s the opposite of Christian Kirk when it comes to his route-running, as Miller is extremely animated on the field. He flails his arms throughout his routes, which can be a good thing, but he’s over-the-top at times. He’s not a bad route-runner, but he doesn’t separate as much as he should because he’s not fast. His short strides allow him to cut when he wants, but he may be tipping off his routes considering we rarely see him with multiple yards of separation. There may be a fix for him with the coaches on the next level, but still, it didn’t stop him from totaling over 1,400 yards in each of the last two seasons.

Speed: 2.0 out of 5 stars
His quickness isn’t amazing for a slot receiver, but he may not be big enough for a perimeter receiver at the next level. You look at his height and weight, thinking we’ve seen smaller wide receivers play perimeter, but he doesn’t get the separation to be a possession perimeter wide receiver and doesn’t have the speed to be a deep threat on the outside. Because of that, we must judge his speed out of the slot, which isn’t great. He’s sudden, but knowing about his foot fracture, it adds another level of concern to him. For the type of player he projects to be, he’s slightly below-average speed-wise.

Hands: 3.5 out of 5 stars
After watching him snag some ridiculous one-handed catches, you want to grade him even better than this. The issue is that he seems to have some mental drops from time-to-time, and they’re seemingly on the easy ones. The reason he’s able to snag some of the throws that are off-target is because of his giant hands that measured at 10 inches at the Combine, which ranked third among wide receivers. In fact, there were just three tight ends who had bigger hands than him. He also flashed the ability to catch the ball in traffic more often than not, a product of little-to-no separation. Hands are something that will show-off no matter what level you’re playing at, but he’s got to get over the mental drops if he wants to stay on the field.

Awareness: 4.5 out of 5 stars
One of the highlights of watching him play is his knowledge of where he’s at on the field and where he wants to end up. The defender in the vicinity seemed to make no difference to him, either, as he’d tap his feet down for a touchdown even with a defender right on his back. He’s got a good sense of body control, too, adjusting to balls thrown behind him. His knowledge of the slot and perimeter has also helped him identify holes in zone coverage as well, giving him one of the better awareness grades in the class.

After the Catch: 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is an area where we can see some improvement if he were to add onto his frame. His reported playing weight was 190, though he did weigh-in at the Combine at 201 pounds. His core is much smaller than you would’ve liked while at 190, and we also don’t know if the added weight was “good weight” considering he’s likely been unable to work-out due to his foot fracture. He’s a grinder despite his smaller size, though. He’ll fight for every yard and is a slippery target for defenders. It’s why we saw him used on handoffs and in the screen-game, as he’s typically able to make the first defender miss.

Potential Landing Spot
He’s likely going to fall to the end of Day 2 or the start of Day 3, meaning there are a lot of teams who’ll have a shot to draft him. One spot I’d like to see him land is with the Chiefs, who’ll be looking to replace Albert Wilson, who left in free agency. Slotting Miller in between Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins would be dangerous, as both Hill and Watkins can move around the field, too. Because Andy Reid schemes around his team’s talent, Miller would find himself in-space more often than not. He wouldn’t post gaudy numbers there, but he would be an effective player.

NFL Comparison
He’s more of a complimentary piece than “the guy,” which eliminates the sexy comparisons that some want to see. Miller reminds me of someone who was never utilized properly in the NFL, and that’s Kendall Wright. Coming out of Baylor, a lot of analysts and NFL teams thought Wright was more than just a slot receiver, and he was, but playing inside is where he belonged the majority of time, while moving him outside at times. They are both quicker than they are fast, but put together a great resume in college. If Miller is drafted by a team who understands what his strengths and weaknesses are, he should have a more productive career than Wright.

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Kalen Ballage (RB – Arizona State)
Calvin Ridley (WR – Alabama)
James Washington (WR – Oklahoma State)
Courtland Sutton (WR – Southern Methodist)
Michael Gallup (WR – Colorado State)
D.J. Moore (WR – Maryland)
Christian Kirk (WR – Texas A&M)

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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