The spin move that Ohio State wide receiver Braxton Miller used to break a touchdown run against Virginia Tech Monday was the play that raised the most eyebrows in the Buckeyes' 42-24 win Monday. But to former Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage, it was a diving catch Miller made -- the first reception of his college career -- that foretold something about his NFL potential.
Savage believes Miller can be a starter at the next level, even though the senior will have only a year of experience as a wide receiver when he enters the NFL. As for his draft status, Savage's preliminary opinion has Miller pegged for the draft's second day.
"I would have said (Monday) night going into the game most NFL people saw (Miller) as a role-playing backup and let's see what he can do," Savage told CBS Sports. "After (Monday) night you can say he's at least a potential starter. I'm always hesitant talking about rounds. But I'd say probably a second- or third-round pick."
Miller fully extended for the catch on a deep crossing route, and showed the instincts to tuck the ball and turn his back to keep the ball from touching the ground:
Miller caught three passes in his debut at the position for 79 yards, including a touchdown on a corner route in which he had to make an over-the-shoulder catch. As Ohio State's H-back, he'll also have a rushing role this season as well, and carried five times for 61 yards against the Hokies.
"To me, that first diving catch he made was the play that grabbed the attention of the NFL that said this guy can be a legitimate receiver," Savage added. "As far as his NFL future, that was sensational in proving something he had never done before. That catch was big-time. The spin move was fantastic and that was icing on the cake, but we knew he was athletic."
It was only one game, but if Miller can make a 140-yard impact in his first game at a new position, there is no telling how NFL scouts might view him by the end of the season, when he's begun to benefit from some experience.