NFL coaches and personnel executives will have plenty to ask Braxton Miller about at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, from his one-year adjustment to the H-back position, to the shoulder injury that compelled that position switch.
But if Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is right, one thing they won't question is his speed.
Meyer told College Football 24/7 on Monday that he expects Miller to turn in a 40-yard dash time of less than 4.4 seconds in the test that is as important as any at the annual event for pass-catchers.
"He will run a sub-4.4 at the combine, and show he's a really competitive guy. He'll knock it out," said Meyer, whose new book, "Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season" will be released this week.
What would a sub-4.4 40 time do for Miller's draft stock? Consider that at the 2015 combine, just seven of 323 combine participants recorded a time better than 4.4. Three of those players were picked in the first round: cornerback Trae Waynes, wide receiver Kevin White, and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. Another, cornerback Ronald Darby, went in the second round. And it's not just talk from Meyer, because Miller's already delivered a sub-4.4 time that's been posted in the Buckeyes' football facility.
Former NFL general manager Phil Savage has said he believes Miller could potentially be a second- or third-round pick.
"I think he'll kill it at the combine, and we still have half a season left. His ball skills are tremendous," Meyer said. "That was the area I didn't know about, because he had always just carried it. You saw that on Saturday with that ridiculous catch that was the ESPN highlight."
Miller began working on his pass-catching skills during the offseason even before the decision was made to switch him from quarterback, where he was a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year from 2012-2013. He's caught 19 passes on the season, despite inconsistency from quarterback Cardale Jones for much of the year. Miller's adjustment to the position has been remarkable, Meyer said.
"I think it's the perfect position, and the scouts see it too, for Braxton to play in the NFL," said Meyer. "I met Terrelle Pryor over the summer, and people (the Browns) said 'We're going to move him to receiver' like they would move a corner to safety. It's not that easy and it takes a minute to learn, and a lot of times in the NFL, you don't have a minute because it's so competitive. In college, at least, you can take some time to teach them. And Braxton is way ahead of where anyone thought he would be. He's an excellent blocker now, he knows where to line up, he's become a 35-40-plays-a-game guy. Obviously he's always been a dynamic guy with the ball in his hand, but he can functionally play wide receiver now (and) I think (he) will play for quite a while in the NFL."
If a 40-yard dash in the 4.3s is in store for Miller at the combine in Indianapolis, plenty of decision makers might agree.