The Miami Dolphins drafted Lamar Miller, out of the University of Miami, in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. They picked him as insurance for the possible release of Reggie Bush when his contract expired at the end of last season. On cue Bush departed for the greener turf of the Detroit Lions.
On paper Lamar Miller looks great. He has a very similar skill set, pass catching ability and running style to Bush. He ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash compared to Bush’s 4.3. Miller spent most of his rookie year on the bench watching Bush and learning how to play the pro game. Reportedly this offseason when Miller didn’t have his nose buried in the playbook he was living in the film room or busting his hump training like a rabid wildebeest with Frank Gore.
You hear all of that kind of stuff and you could just about start talking yourself into believing that Miller is the second coming of Marshall Faulk!
This begs the question: If Miller is so talented why did he fall all the way to being taken as the 97th overall pick in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft?
If we look at his college career at the U, we see that he spent his first year wearing a red shirt and his last year nursing a shoulder injury. So there is some concern here that for a young guy he’s racked up some serious injuries and durability concerns.
Right now Miller is the odds on favorite to be the starter for the Dolphins Week 1. You should also consider that Head Coach Joe Philbin’s offense has a pass first focus, which rarely produces a 1,000 yard back. In fact last year Reggie Bush only managed 986 yards on the ground. Also in the mix is a heated battle for the starting job with Daniel Thomas. Assuming Miller wins the starting job, Thomas stands to get some touches between the tackles and vulture touches down at the goal line.
There are a lot of people who will be tempted to reach for Lamar Miller as a No. 2 running back with upside. I personally wouldn’t touch him any sooner than the 6th round, where I would draft him to serve as my No. 3. I’d follow up and handcuff him to Thomas in the 9th or 10th round.
Eric Beuning is a Fantasy Football writer for RantSports.com.