In the 2012 NFL draft the Miami Dolphins drafted a franchise QB, a new right tackle, and potential projects in Oliver Vernon and Michael Egnew in rounds 1 through 3. In round 4 (pick 97 overall) a familiar name to the Miami area was still on the board. A former star for Miami Killian High School. A former star for the Miami Hurricanes. 21 year old Miami native Lamar Miller. Dolphins landed a potential steal here.
Word is his NFL days are off to a strong start. A lot of buzz is coming out of Davie, Florida. Fans, media, coaches, teammates etc. On the depth chart Miller would surely be behind Reggie Bush, likely behind Daniel Thomas as well. It would seem that because Steve Slaton is in great shape he could be in the mix for the #3 running back with Miller. The word is out there that Miller has legit tools, and is putting them on display. Daily. Consistently.
Miller can fly. He blazes a 4.4/40 yard dash. In his two years in college he had a 5.7 yards per carry average, and was a TD machine. Most of that while nursing a banged-up shoulder. As a ball carrier Miller is quick to the hole, and sneaky/shifty. As far as catching the ball out of the backfield he has good hands, and good receiving ability. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman is sure to value the skill-set Miller has. He is a legitimate home-run threat with every touch he gets for this west-coast offense. He is fast to the outside, and will not be brought down from behind if he gets going. The zone-blocking that Miami will use should work well for Miller too.
For Miller to really climb the depth chart and top Thomas he will have to improve his pass blocking skills. As with most rookie RBs he will need to improve his blitz pick-up ability to the next level. He is doing so well currently that he may be the 3rd down RB. If he can improve the pass-blocking aspect of his game he may have a chance to get a lot of playing time. Coach Sherman will want to use Bush’s skill-set as a WR at times. Those are snaps/opportunities to have even more playing time for Miller, but Miami will need to be confident that he can support both the run and the pass.
WR coach Ken O’Keefe makes his NFL coaching debut with the 2012 Dolphins, and he is working with both Bush and Miller. That is possibly further evidence that Miller is getting more and more confidence from the new regime, and could be a difference maker for the Dolphins soon. O’Keefe can help develop his already solid receiving game, giving even more opportunities in the west-coast offense for Miller.
We will watch Lamar Miller closely as the pre-season schedule kicks-off for the 2012 Miami Dolphins.
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