Cowboys Senior Bowl Watchlist: Texas A&M LB Von Miller

Texas A&M linebacker OLB Von Miller is a player many members of the BTB community have a keen interest in. They envision him in a rotation at the 3-4 linebacker positions, wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks like he has in the Big 12. Well, it looks to be justified as some reports have Miller skyrocketing up draft boards. Let's take a look at some of the reports out there on how he has been performing at the Senior Bowl practices.

From Adam Scheffter via twitter:

To those asking where Texans A+M LB Von Miller will go in the NFL draft, the early signs are, Top 5 pick.

From Todd McShay at espn.com:

Each year, there are players who separate themselves from the pack. They enter the week among the handful of players with first-round grades, but they quickly emerge as the elite class. ...While there have been just two practices this year, Texas A&M OLB Von Miller and Colorado OT Nate Solder are well on their way to joining that list. ...From what we see on the field and what we're hearing about their interviews off it, Miller and Solder are standing out the most this week. ... [Miller] was allowed to leave the LBs and join the D-linemen for one-on-one pass rush drills Tuesday, and it was impressive. He was unstoppable against players who are expected to go in the first two days of the draft.

Follow the jump for more:

 

From DraftInsider.net

Analysis:
Von Miller LB Texas A&M Height 6025 Weight 237 Arms 34 Hands 9 1/2
 
Monday Practice Notes: Spent most of the day at SSLB, but was not impressive working his way through all the drills.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Not a good day for a guy that’s projected to be a 3-4 OLB.  Was easily controlled by blocks all day and at one point got annihilated by Luke Stocker.  Showed decent skills in coverage when he had to move in reverse. Miller was brought over to the pass rush drills to showcase his talents, which were average at best.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Nice athlete; fluid with a nice degree of explosion.  Gets depth on drops.  Moves well in all directions.  Again struggled in pass rush drills.

 

From Optimumscouting.com

(Wednesday notes): I got a chance to really watch Von Miller much of the day, and he showed why I feel he's a Top 10 draft pick in this draft class and the best prospect in Mobile. He's noticeably quicker than every linebacker or defensive lineman here, and his explosion laterally and his quick feet have really impressed. Plus, he looked like he had tons of experience dropping in coverage...

Derek Sherrod did get beat by Von Miller twice in a row, one with an outside rush and one with a devestating inside move...

Outside of Von Miller, I think KJ Wright and Nate Irving are the two quickest linebackers out here just based on their pursuit in blitzing drills, their ability to quickly get past running backs, and their foot quickness drills.

From draftcountdown.com:

(Tuesday notes): Texas A&M OLB Von Miller had an above average day as a whole. In 11-on-11’s, Miller did a very good job of going sideline-to-sideline and sniffing out runners. Miller did have some trouble in coverage against the tight ends though. Miller worked through traffic much better than anticipated.

Here are some parts of Von Miller's NFLDraftScout.com profile:

Read & React: Overall instincts for the position, particularly containment and run responsibility and reaction, are questionable since he is primarily used in a "sic 'em" role. Still getting a feel for coverage but reacts quickly when the ball is thrown to the flat. Good feel for pass rush. He sniffs out indecision in the passer and senses weakness in an offensive tackle. Knows when to go for the ball or big hit on to create turnovers.

Run defense: Improving against the run, but must be more consistent to become an elite all-around player. Plays with more strength than expected; is adequate grounding his hold on the move when engaged but does lose his balance... Teams take advantage of his continual edge rushing to get a running lane outside. Overruns plays with aggressive angles and a lack of focus on the ball...

Pass defense: Could excel in this part of the game because of his fluidity and quickness, but is still raw in coverage. Mirrors running backs and tight ends off the line into the flat and downfield. Athletic enough to drop deep, keeps one eye on the running back and the other on the quarterback. Is not aware of receivers behind him.

Tackling: Strong upper body and closing speed make him an explosive tackler who is tough to elude in the backfield. Loads up on ballcarriers -- sometimes even leaving his feet -- to force fumbles. Chase effort is mixed; will stop four or five steps from a play if he thinks his teammate will take care of the play instead of adding himself to the pile.

Pass Rush/Blitz: Greatest area of strength of this stand-up defensive end. Extremely quick around the corner. Gets skinny to penetrate when shooting the inside gap. Elite closing speed to the quarterback, explodes to drive them into the ground or uses his length to wrap up even the most mobile passers. Dips shoulder to get under the pads of taller tackles, shortening the pocket. Feels cut blocks and uses his hands and quickness to beat them. Good arm-over, spin and outside-in change-up moves to get his man off-balance after turning the corner on previous plays. Average strength and hand usage to free himself after initial contact. Might push man off-balance once getting him moving up the field, but too often stopped after his first move when facing opponents with good lateral movement. Capable of leveraging tackles back into the pocket, but lacks great length or bulk to take on massive NFL tackles.

Drafttek.com lists Miller as the #2 3-4 OLB prospect behind Robert Quinn, and 13th overall. Also, if you didn't get a chance to read it before the Senior Bowl kicked off, check out ChiaCrack's extensive fanpost on Von Miller.

OK, have at it BTB- what are your thoughts on Von Miller? Would he be worth moving up for? Does he meet a need for Rob Ryan's new defense or do you still have faith in Anthony Spencer? Can he be plugged into the inside backer role?

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