One of the best parts of the pre-draft process is studying players who, it seems, weren’t meant to go to the NFL. The players that college scouts were too small, too slow, too… whatever, to play major college football, but have put themselves in position to live out their dreams through sheer work.
Anthony Miller of Memphis is one of those players.
A Memphis native, Miller walked on to the football program as a no-star recruit only to work his way to being a 3-year starter and their featured offensive weapon over the last two years. He still doesn’t have a big-school pedigree, but Miller does have great tape and an intriguing skill set.
The New York Giants might want to continue to add to their depth at receiver, and Miller would give them a starting caliber player who has lined up at multiple spots. But would they be interested?
- Savvy route runner. Uses subtle moves and varies his tempo to disrupt defender’s timing.
- Uses hands well to get off press coverage.
- Good quickness in and out of breaks.
- Enough long speed to be a threat with the ball in his hands.
- Competitive at the catch point and as a blocker.
- Lined up all over the offensive formation, wide receiver, slot receiver, and in the backfield.
- Big hands, particularly for his size.
- Doesn’t have prototypical size, could get pigeonholed as a slot receiver at the next level.
- Played against a lower level of competition.
- Occasionally rounded routes.
- Fractured foot at the end of 2018.
What they’re saying
Ultra-competitive and highly productive, Miller plays with a chip on his shoulder that has driven him to out-work the man across from him. While he played both inside and out for Memphis, some teams could struggle with figuring out his best fit. His inconsistent hands are definitely a concern, but his ability to get open and to work all three levels of the field increase his chances for success as a WR3.
-Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)
Does he fit the Giants?
Miller would probably be a much more widely discussed and highly regarded prospect if he came from a traditional factory such as LSU or Clemson.
As it is, he might be one of the draft’s best kept secrets.
But once he gets in to the NFL, Miller is likely to (quickly) become a fan favorite. A former walk-on, Miller was a no-star recruit out of high school and has gotten to where he is through sheer work ethic and determination. On the field his athleticism is apparent, with the quick twitch to gain separation, make tacklers miss, and pick up chunk yardage.
Miller was unable to participate in the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, so the league doesn’t have a way to quantifiably compare his athleticism against other receiving prospects, and that might hurt him come the draft. As it stands now, he is generally being talked about in the media as anywhere from a second to fourth round selection.
The Giants might be in a position where they need to build their receiving depth, but it is difficult to tell whether he would be on Dave Gettleman’s radar. As a hard-working, route-savvy, big-handed receiver, Miller certainly would have been high on Jerry Reese’s board, but we don’t know what Gettleman and Shurmur’s preference will be.
Miller would certainly be a strong addition to the team and the locker room, but whether or not he fits what the Giants would be looking for is another matter.