Christian Miller, OLB
School: Alabama | Conference: SEC
College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 244 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd or 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: K.J. Wright
Christian Miller is the son of former NFL linebacker Corey Miller who played in the 90s. Corey had a distinguished college career at South Carolina and was selected in the 6th round of the 1991 NFL draft (which had 12 rounds back then) and played most of his NFL career for the New York Giants. Now his son Christian has finished his distinguished career at Alabama and looks to make an even bigger mark in the NFL than his dad did. Christian was a highly recruited 4-star prospect back in 2014. He chose Alabama for the opportunity to consistently play for Championships and also because they played more of a 3-4 defense which is why he spurned his offer from Clemson even though it was much closer to home. He got the opportunity four times to play for National Championships and came away with two trophies with the Crimson Tide. Miller made his mark this season as both a weak side and strong side linebacker and was devastating at times rushing from the edge. His college career came with highs and lows as he battle injuries but also showed that he can be one of the better EDGE prospects that comes out of this class. Miller’s health will have a lot to do with where he is ultimately selected but if he can stay healthy in the NFL he could be a Pro Bowl caliber player.
- Good athleticism, quickness, and agility for the position. Really impressive at times with his flexibility off the edge can cut in at angles other prospects can not.
- Really good vision and instincts. He’s a better pass rusher than he is run defender but he isn’t a slouch in that area. Consistently is a factor not only in playing contain but collapsing the pocket and re-routing runs. If the runner comes in his vicinity he sees it and can disengage and help bring them down.
- Has versatility to play both base schemes. Has played from a 2 point stance as well as 3 and 4. Has experience dropping back into coverage and does a decent job sticking with running backs. Has played both weak and strong side.
- Disruptive with good finishing ability. When he makes contact he wraps up. Has some pop to his hits.
- Already has several counter moves under his belt and knows how to change them together to get around the edge.
- Injury history. He missed 10 games last year due to a biceps injury. He missed some time this year with a strained hamstring. Recovery and medical evals will be important to him.
- While a good athlete he does not have that elite straight line speed you’ll see out of other elite players at the position like Von Miller, Clay Matthews, Khalil Mack etc. Missed a few potential big plays because of it.
- Functional strength could improve.
Let’s see his work:
Look at the lateral agility from Christian Miller on this inside stunt, swims and clears his hips towards the pocket. I don’t think I’ve seen Oklahoma RT Cody Ford in full recovery “oh sh*t” mode like this all season #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/FjRKDsNsMK— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) January 11, 2019
Christian Miller catching a body (he didn’t trip don’t say he did ) pic.twitter.com/KWrf4WXNx2— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) December 12, 2018
Christian Miller Sack vs Oklahoma pic.twitter.com/944IIjggVU— steven (@steven_roll) January 18, 2019
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Miller has been one of my favorite players to watch all season. I think he is extremely talented and if not for nagging injuries he would have put together an even bigger season. When he is healthy and on the field he can be dominant. If he can remain healthy will be the big money question for Miller. Based on talent alone I think Miller could essentially play outside linebacker for any team in the NFL and have success. I think his skillset despite lacking the size, power, and length the Redskins usually prioritize at the position would add a much needed element to the pass rush. Miller has the pass rushing talent to contribute day one as a weak side linebacker if the Redskins don’t feel comfortable with Ryan Anderson for some reason. Truth be told the Redskins would benefit from having 3 potential starting quality OLBs on the roster. This is not only out of consideration of the snap counts at the position last season especially down the stretch. It’s also would give the defense a lot more versatility in deploying certain alignments, packages, and sub packages especially on passing downs.