Before practices began at this year’s Senior Bowl, Braxton Miller was a bit of an enigma. For Ohio State this season, Miller switched from quarterback to a type of hybrid offensive weapon.
He ran the ball 42 times for 260 yards and a touchdown. He caught the ball 26 times for 341 yards and three touchdowns. He showed intrigue, but those are not exactly dazzling numbers. Miller’s usage was indicative of Ohio State’s up-and-down season on offense, so it was hard to figure out what to make of him as a prospect for the 2016 NFL Draft.
Following three practice sessions in Mobile, Ala. that is no longer the case. Miller was unquestionably the week’s biggest star. The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff running the North roster worked Miller outside and in the slot, and he was really good at both.
“I feel like every team needs playmakers and they’ve mentioned that I can do it all, whether it’s being a punt returner, in the backfield as a decoy and playing on the outside,” Miller said earlier this week. “It’s a great feeling being able to do all that stuff and still learn so much at the same time.”
Miller proved to be a quick learner during the week. Coaches tasked Miller with keeping his eyes up on routes and be tighter in his movements. Later in the week, he showed off what he learned. More than once, in fact:
“We’re coaching these guys hard and it’s good to see how well he’s responded to that coaching,” Dallas Cowboys head coach said. “Clearly a great athlete and a productive football player, and someone that has a lot of upside.”
With Miller starting to actualize that upside, Miller’s draft stock is clearly on the rise. It will go even higher if he runs a 4.28 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, like he predicted this week. Miller also said he closely follows the play of Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots and Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers. Miller’s game and his path to the the NFL mirrors Cobb, a quarterback and receiver at the University of Kentucky. Cobb was eventually picked with the last pick of the second round in 2011. Miller might not last that long.