The state Gatorade Player of the Year, and USA Today and Parade high school All-American was a huge land for CU. It was no surprise, therefore, when Miller started seven of 10 games played as a true freshman at right tackle, garnering Freshman All-American recognition from multiple media outlets. He started the first four games of 2008 at right tackle, but wound up taking a medical redshirt after breaking his fibula against Florida State. Miller started the first seven games of his junior year at right guard, then moved to right tackle for the final five due to injuries along the line. He earned honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors for the second straight season after starting all 12 games at right guard in 2010.
Miller already has NFL-caliber size, strength, and agility, but scouts will have to decide where his best fit will be at the next level. Few teams use players of his height inside, but while flashing the agility needed to play tackle he has to prove himself able to handle NFL speed on the edge. Either way, teams will find it difficult to pass on his physical attributes and toughness in the early rounds of the draft.
Pass Blocking: Possesses tackle size and strength, along with natural bend. Strong punch knocks back or re-routes rushers. Tough anchor, hard to move against bull rushes. Owns lateral agility to help tackle if uncovered, hustles around the pocket if defender could get secondary rush. Inconsistent extending his arms initially, allows rushers to get into his body. Fair recovery if shed, though, moves his feet and uses his length to knock rushers off their path.
Run Blocking: Powerful run blocker capable of moving tackles out of the hole with his upper body. Stays low despite his height to get leverage, moves his feet to push the pile or maintain the line of scrimmage. Agile enough to block on the move, whether coaches move the pocket or using his frame and quick feet to ensure defender is cleared on zone plays. Adds himself to piles to push them forward. Extends his arms during the play to exercise his dominance. Relies on his size to stop his man, needs to get his hands into their jersey to prevent them from swimming past or ripping off.
Pulling/Trapping: Even with tackle size, Miller has nimble enough feet to trap inside. Uses length and agility to take out targets in his direct path, but also flexibility and vision to adjust to inside targets in close quarters. His chest presents big target for NFL defenders to hit, and will create a pile in the hole if tripped up due to his height.
Initial Quickness: Quick off the snap for his size. Even if allowing some penetration in pass protection, moves his feet and extends arms to keep defender from turning towards the passer. Hooks inside defenders on run plays to prevent backside tackles. Effective combo blocker, owning strength to chip down in either direction and agility to reach linebackers. Needs to get his hands up more quickly into his man's jersey or NFL defenders will beat him initially.
DownField: Effective reaching the second level and beyond as a run blocker. Easily directs safeties and linebackers directly in his path out of running lanes. Used as personal pass protector for quarterbacks outside the pocket and in front of screens. Lacks elite change of direction to grab smaller targets but gives effort, gets down quickly to take them out if his way.
Intangibles: Versatile player with experience at right tackle and guard. Works hard in the weight room and practice field. Received medical redshirt in 2008 after breaking his fibula (leg). No known character or off-field issues."
However, has a tough time gaining leverage. Allows defenders to get under him and can be initially overwhelmed on contact. Works his hands well in order to gain inside position and pumps his legs through contact. Plays with a mean streak and is tough to disengage from once he gets his hands on you, but isn’t a guy who will be able to create a push routinely off the ball inside in the NFL.
Looks coordinated on the move, can pull from the backside, breaks down in space and can hit/seal on his target. Is quick footed and corded for his size, steps and seals quickly, looks comfortable on slide down blocks and is effective on the move. His leverage struggles show up in the pass game as well. Initially will allow defenders to get under his frame and can be worked backward on contact vs. the bull.
Is longer armed and it takes him a while to uncoil his length, as he doesn’t deliver a great punch into contact. Isn’t nearly the Velcro player vs. the pass he is vs. the run game. However, uses his length well when sliding laterally. Showcases good footwork/re-direction skills, can shuffle and slide in space, mirrors wells and uses his length to keep lineman from getting into his frame. However, isn’t real heavy handed and too often can be easily disengaged from through contact.
Impression: The big guy can bend, but leverage is always going to be a struggle for him inside. However, he does have some natural balance/coordination to his game in both the run and pass game and in my mind is better suited to play as a right tackle at the next level in any scheme than guard."
Lives in the weight room and is capable of mashing defenders and re-creating the line of scrimmage.
Limited foot quickness and lateral agility to function outside a phone booth — tends to lunge and fall off blocks.
Needs to improve finish.
Can be tested by speed (see California vs. Cameron Jordan) and do a better job of more consistently dropping his anchor.
Has enough size and length to pitch in as an emergency right tackle."
Ryan Miller meets the initial eye test because of his good size. However, the closer you look the more you start to see problems. He has a linear build lacking a good thick base. This impacts his ability to anchor through contact. Miller is not explosive, nasty, or overly strong which limits his run blocking ability.
In the passing game, Miller doesn't have the foot speed or bend to properly protect. He plays to high limiting his balance and opens his frame to the pass rusher. Miller's footwork is unbalanced and very sloppy hurting his ability to change direction and react to counter moves.
Overall, Miller just isn't a very good looking NFL prospect. Nothing stands out that makes me believe he could be a decent NFL player. He has good size but lacks the athletic ability to be even labeled as a project. Miller might get drafted but at this point looks like a late round prospect.
Bold Statement: Ryan Miller will not be considered a guard prospect and will likely be a later round selection
Games Viewed: California ('10), Oklahoma ('10), Iowa State ('10)
- Miller has a linear build and doesn't have a very thick lower half
- His 6'8 frame makes it difficult for him to gain leverage
- The height will be an issue for Miller if he is expected to be a long term guard
- Miller doesn't possess a good bend and plays way to high
- He doesn't do a good job of getting his hands up and out in front
- Miller just doesn't have a natural bend and struggles to gain leverage
- His footwork is unbalanced and sloppy
- Miller's lack of balance impacts his ability to create a push, pass protect, and change direction
- He isn't an explosive player and lacks fluid motions"
Looks more the part of an OT, but better suited to OG because of his short arms and heavy feet, although he’s very tall for the position and not a natural knee bender; also needs to work hard at keeping pad level down; missed most of 2008 season after breaking a fibula."