PFF scouting report: Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
Here is the PFF draft profile for Ohio State wide receiver Braxton Miller, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.
Position fit: Spent 293 of his 373 snaps in the slot in 2015.
Stats to know: Forced eight missed tackles from just 28 receptions in 2015.
What he does best:
— Makes people miss. Miller’s time at wide receiver has been limited, but we’ve seen him be dynamic with the ball in his hands. Averaging 6.9 yards after the catch per reception, this made up more than half of his 12.5 yards per catch average. A nightmare for defensive players to bring down, he forced eight missed tackles from just 28 receptions this past season
— Interesting option out of the backfield too. Forced eight missed tackles from 42 rushing attempts, and caught four passes for 28 yards on backfield routes
— Has the ability to contribute on trick plays. This might make up just a small part of the playbook, but Miller was once the starting quarterback for Ohio State and does have a good enough arm to get the ball downfield on a wide receiver pass when called upon. While it’s not going to be the sole reason a team drafts him, the ability to create big plays is a bonus
— Interesting option as a kick returner. Fielded just one kickoff in his college career at the Senior Bowl, but did return it for 39 yards. Given his ability to make people miss in space, a special teams coach might feel he can be developed here.
— Can win downfield. The Buckeyes didn’t look his way on go routes often, but he did catch all three of the passes thrown his way on them and has the speed to beat cornerbacks deep.
— Big-play threat. Given that he had just 28 receptions, it’s worth noting that Miller had three catches of 45 yards or more, and added a 53 yard run. For a player who didn’t really see enough of the ball, he made the most of what he did get.
— More projection than almost any other prospect in this draft class. For all the excitement he has generated, we are talking about a player who played just 373 snaps at wide receiver, and caught just 28 passes. Is that enough to draft someone on the first or second day of the NFL draft?
— Needs a lot of work as a route runner. Has very quick feet which help him make people miss in space, but often takes too many steps to make his cut
— Need to see more of him against stronger cornerbacks to see how he handles press coverage. At this point he’s a player who got the ball in space and had some success downfield, still needs to work at the basics of the position
Bottom line: Miller is a fascinating prospect because teams will be left debating production against projection. On a limited amount of snaps at wide receiver we know that he is raw and needs a lot of work, but can be a matchup nightmare in space capable of creating big plays. His athletic ability makes him a candidate to be over drafted, but if a team show the patience to develop him, it could pay off big time.