Kendre Miller of TCU, a potential 2023 NFL Draft Day 2 selection in a crowded running back class, is unlikely to work out in the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine. Miller is still recovering from the sprained MCL that caused him to miss TCU’s National Championship game against Georgia.
Miller told Big Blue View this week that he has not begun to run yet, and with the Combine less than two weeks away doesn’t seem possible he could be ready.
“Still just doing physical therapy,” Miller said. “It [the knee injury] was a bit worse than what it was presented on TV. I’m a whole lot better since the game. I’m getting there, but not really sure what I’m going to be able to do at Pro Day and Combine.”
Miller said he suffered a Grade 3 (severe) sprain.
This is a crowded running back class. Bijan Robinson of Texas and Jahmyr Gibbs of Alabama are the two backs generally thought to have a chance to go in Round 1. Miller sits in a large group of backs behind them hoping to hear their names called on Day 2.
For Miller, interviews will now take on added importance.
“Interviewing is gonna be a big impact because I probably won’t be able to test at the Combine. I’ve got to kill the interview process,” he said.
“I’m very confident in what I’ve shown on film. I’m very explosive and fast. The speed is there, even though I can’t run. I feel very confident in what I’ve done.”
At 6-foot, 220 pounds, Miller is an explosive runner who averaged 6.7 yards per carry in three seasons at TCU. In 2022, he gained 1,399 yards on 224 carries, 6.2 yards per attempt, and scored 17 touchdowns.
In the NFL these days, though, running backs who don’t catch passes are of limited value. Miller caught just 16 passes for the Horned Frogs in 2022 and only 29 in 33 total collegiate games.
He knows the primary question NFL teams have about him is his ability to be a useful receiver.
“That’s what I heard, too,” Miller said. “Really the only thing that’s hurting me and I kind of hate that it turned out that way – we didn’t use running backs in the passing game in our system – really was hoping to get to show that at the Combine that I’m very comfortable catching the ball. Hopefully at Pro Day I can show what I’m capable of doing.”
Miller believes that when he does get the chance he will show that receiving — and pass blocking — are things he can do.
“When you put the film on you see that I’m an explosive playmaker. When I get the ball in my hands passing-wise, it’s not like I didn’t catch the ball – I caught the ball and made something happen,” he said.
“Pass block and you can put me pretty much all over the field and I feel like I’m very confident catching the ball. Any NFL team who would be able to pick me up I feel like they’d be getting an explosive playmaker who is very comfortable playing anywhere on the field.”
Miller said one of his strengths is contact balance, and that because of it he hears comparisons to Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints.
“It’s kinda weird,” Miller said. “The build is different.”
Miller, as noted earlier, is 6-foot, 220. Kamara, a five-time Pro Bowler, is 5-10, 215.
One thing in Miller’s favor is that he will enter the league as a 21-year-old, and he had only 361 carries over three seasons at TCU. So, he is young and lightly-used.
“That’s really what separates me from a lot of backs in this class,” Miller said. “My resume of how many carries, the average, what I produce when I am on the field. I don’t have that many carries … my body is very fresh.”
We will see in a bit more than two months where the NFL believes Miller fits in this class.
[NOTE: The full interview with Miller will appear in a ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast at a later date.]