Braxton Miller is going to be one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was a two-year starter at quarterback at Ohio State but switched to wide receiver after he missed the entire 2014 season with a shoulder injury. So expect announcers to remind you of this every time Miller throws a pass for his NFL team; the same way they have to remind you of this every time Julian Edelman throws a pass for the Patriots. Oh man, you just know that Jim Nantz is going to hope Miller throws a pass in every game he calls because he's chomping at the bit to share this nugget.
So as a note to broadcasters everywhere, we know. It's not like Miller played at Kent State. Not to besmirch the Golden Flashes or anything. Great school, but we don't see a lot of their games on national TV. Plus we all saw Miller play quarterback at Ohio State. Hell, we saw him play receiver at Ohio State. So we're good. You don't need to remind us.
They are going to remind us aren't they? Oh well, on to the preview.
» Played QB in college
Sorry, I couldn't resist putting that in his strengths. HE PLAYED QUARTERBACK! But think about it, he's going to have an added dimension every time he steps on the field. He could be a matchup nightmare for the team who drafts him. Similar to the way Edelman has that added wrinkle every time he lines up behind center. But you really have to be impressed with Miller's size and athleticism. We got a great glimpse of that with his sick spin move against Virginia Tech. The move lit up Twitter and other social media platforms as everyone wanted to make a "B button" joke. All right, I was one of them. But it was awesome. Watch it again here, you won't be disappointed.
But watch his elusiveness, too. It seems like he's able to glide along the field and avoid any solid contact. He had more carries than catches, so he's pretty good with the football in his hands.
Miller also is a strong leader, too. This was a guy who played quarterback (sorry) at a high level for one of the premiere college football programs in the world. He could have made trouble after losing his gig; he could have also transferred to another school to continue to play quarterback. But he chose to remain at Ohio State and work on becoming a receiver. That should be noted.
» Lack of time at receiver
» Needs to learn nuances of the position
The biggest knock against Miller is obvious, he played just one season at wide receiver. But if you compare him to guys like Edelman who made the switch, he does at least have the advantage of that one year. He's going to need to get better at his route running and learning some of the intermediate routes. A lot of the play calls for him involved him just flying deep and using his speed against defenders. He's going to need to develop a stronger route tree to be considered a truly elite receiver at the NFL level.
Ideal NFL fantasy fits
Obviously the comparisons to Julian Edelman makes the thought of Miller to the Patriots seem rather appealing. And there is a relationship between Urban Meyer and Bill Belichick that will compel us all to connect the dots. And while the Patriots do lack a first-round pick (but hey, it was nice of them to write a letter), New England does have four picks in the Top 100 and we could see the Patriots making a move in the second round. Not that Miller is a first-round pick. I'm just saying the Patriots need to really address their needs with their picks, and a long-term prospect might not be the best option. But having those extra picks is a bonus.
Early fantasy draft projection
Even without a huge lack of experience at receiver, I could see Miller making an impact, at least in daily fantasy leagues. Let's say he goes to a team like the Patriots, I could see there being weeks where he might be a great low-end option at receiver who can give you some sneaky points.
I also like Miller in dynasty leagues and would move him up a little more in my draft boards. But it's hard to project a huge splash for him in redraft leagues.