One of the reasons why Braxton Miller stayed at Ohio State for his senior season is because he knows that he’s not quite ready for the NFL. He needed another year to hone the skills that could make him a first-round NFL Draft pick in 2015. What will Miller need to do during the 2014 season to make this happen?
One thing he has that he does not need to improve upon is his size. Miller is a good size to compete in the NFL plus he has great speed, agility and can make plays on the ground. He also knows how to win. Miller won all but two of his last 24 starts at Ohio State. In 2013, he averaged almost 7.5 yards per play and was part of one of the most explosive running games in the country along with Carlos Hyde. Miller was also named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row. He’s proven his leadership abilities time and time again and can make a big play when necessary. Miller’s decision to stay at Ohio State for his senior season to try and help his team win a championship and graduate shows just how mature he really is.
Miller could be a first-round draft pick in 2015, but first he needs to hone the skills that will get him there. His mechanics need some work but mostly his throwing motion and footwork, believe it or not. He should only use his legs when necessary and throw the ball more while also learning how to use the pocket more efficiently. Miller’s ball placement and accuracy need improvement as well. In other words, Miller needs to throw the ball more and become a more accurate pocket passer who should only use his legs when absolutely necessary. He needs to rely more on his arm and become more confident in his abilities.
Staying healthy will be a big factor for Miller as well. He missed three games in 2013 due to a knee injury.
Miller’s primary objective in 2014 should be to show his growth as a passer. A couple of signature performances wouldn’t hurt either, especially against teams like the Virginia Tech Hokies and Michigan State Spartans who have the best defenses Ohio State will face next season. Key wins on the big stage, even if he has to mount a comeback to win the game, could also help to boost his draft stock.
Miller has a lot of work to do heading into the 2014 season. There are a lot of things he has proven he can do, but there is more he still needs to prove and improve if he wants to lead his team to a championship, possibly win the Heisman and become a first-round draft pick. If Miller can improve as much this offseason as he did last offseason and in all the right areas then there is no doubt he will achieve these lofty goals.