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If Bills draft Texas A&M OLB Miller, where would he fit?

  • By Vic Carucci NFL.com
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The player most commonly attached to the Buffalo Bills' No. 3 overall draft pick is Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller.

The logic is easy to see, because Miller is a dynamic pass rusher worthy of top-five consideration, and the Bills desperately need to upgrade their woeful defensive front. What might not be as easy to see would be his exact role in the Bills' defense.

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Miller's comfort zone is rushing off the edge in a 3-4 scheme. The Bills mostly ran a 3-4 last season, with disastrous results. A large part of that was because, in their first year of transition from a 4-3 defense, they didn't have enough of the right types of players to fit the scheme.

Selecting Miller would be a major step toward helping to change that. But it's also fair to wonder whether Miller would be surrounded by enough players with the ability to allow him to be as effective as he was in college. 

The 237-pound Miller relies heavily on speed, which won't be much of a problem in nickel situations. But it does mean, in order for him to consistently make an impact, he needs some bigger bodies up front to occupy blockers and give him the necessary room to operate. Kyle Williams is a terrific nose tackle, but he isn't the classic behemoth presence tying up blockers on every down.

Also, with the addition of assistant head coach Dave Wannstedt, a prominent defensive mind whose football philosophy is rooted in the 4-3, there is every reason to think the Bills will incorporate plenty of 4-3 looks in their scheme. In that case, Miller would find himself primarily working behind the line, something with which he has little experience.

This isn't to suggest that Miller couldn't thrive in any defense. He is an exceptionally talented athlete, and through coaching and with the addition of some size and strength, he could turn into a dominant player.

But any team that owns the No. 3 pick is clearly looking for the surest thing possible, and that might not be Miller for the Bills.

Follow Vic Carucci on Twitter @viccarucci.

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