Packers Prospect Profile – LB Von Miller, Texas A&M
College: Texas A&M
Position: Defensive End/ Weak Side Linebacker (Hybrid)
Height: 6′3″ Weight: 246 lbs.
Born: March 26th, 1989 From: DeSoto, Texas
2) High School / College Highlights: Von Miller joined the Aggies in 2007 as the Rivals 29th ranked weak side linebacker in high school but first saw action as a defensive end in the 4-2-5 defense and was voted Freshmen All-Big 12.
After a disastrous 2007 season lead by head coach Dennis Franchione which was headlined by a newsletter scandal and several crushing defeats, Franchione resigned midseason and subsequently former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman was hired.
Sherman installed a 4-3 defense and Miller was moved to weak side linebacker under defensive coordinator Joe Kines. 2009 was his break out season, where Miller played in all 12 games, leading the NCAA with 17 sacks and 21 tackles for a loss (4th in the NCAA) and garnering First-team All-America and First-team All-Big 12 honors.
After 2009 Joe Kines retired and was replaced with Tim DeRuyter, who installed a 3-4 defense where Miller played the outside linebacker position. Miller suffered a foot injury but still managed to record 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss as well as garnering First-team All America, First-team All-Big 12 and the Butkus award, given annually to the nation’s best collegiate linebacker.
Miller also leaves for the NFL in the strange position of being one of the plaintiff’s in the lawsuit between the NFL and the player’s union on the current lock out situation, the sole draftee to be included; he also is planning on being at Radio Music City in New York for the annual NFL draft
3) College Stats: 4 year starter.
4) NFL Combine Results: 4.53 40-yd dash, 21 bench press, 37 vertical, 126 broad, 6.7 3-cone, 4.06 20 yard shuttle, 11.15 60 yard shuttle.
5) Strengths/Weaknesses: Miller’s strongest asset is his pass rushing ability; he great speed around the corner and the displays good ability to dip under the pads of tackles and get skinny when shooting an inside gap. Miller also has great closing ability to the quarterback. Miller has a wide array of moves at his disposable including spin moves, change up and arm over moves.
Miller has potential to be great in pass protection and as a run stopper, while he has the ability in those regards, his actual experience and technique will need to be coached up since he was almost never used in those capacities at Texas A&M. Miller’s biggest weakness might be his football IQ, at Texas A&M his sole job was to pressure the quarterback and often teams would run draw plays to take advantage of Miller’s focus on sacking the quarterback.
6) Fit for the Packers: Miller’s versatility and his explosive play are probably the biggest reasons why he would be a great fit for the Packers. Clay Matthews took on Charles Woodson’s role as an all terrain vehicle in 2010 with Matthews often lining up at middle linebacker or as a spy to confuse offenses and create odd angles for pressures. Miller could likely fill the same role as his speed and explosiveness could probably compensate for the lack of power in his game.
One of the biggest holes in the Packers defense is the outside linebacker position next to Clay Matthews III, it was obvious that teams were focusing on Matthews last season and with the potential loss of Cullen Jenkins to free agency, there might not be a solid presence for offenses to fear outside of Matthews. Miller also had no disciplinary issues in college and is considered a to have high character, something which the Packers covet.
Most mock drafts have Miller as a top 10 or top 5 player, so it’s highly unlikely for the Packers to see Miller available at 32. But if Miller falls to the teens, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Packers bundle a couple of picks and move up much like they did when the drafted Clay Matthews III
7) Highlight video——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.