SI50: Braxton Miller, WR
1:01 | NFL
SI50: Braxton Miller, WR
Chris Burke & Doug Farrar
Friday April 29th, 2016

The Houston Texans select Ohio State WR Braxton Miller with the No. 85 pick in the 2016 NFL draft.


Analysis: Potential-wise, this is an A+ pick -- Miller has an unbelievable ceiling that he only just started to scratch as a wide receiver. As a fit, it's a little more wait-and-see because of the Will Fuller selection on Day 1. Will he get enough opportunities? And when is Houston going to help its defense?

​Strengths: Good size for the position (especially for the slot) with excellent musculature and explosive burst off the snap. Incredible quickness in short spaces -- he's almost more like a running back in this regard. Very elusive around the edge and when moving through routes. Has the ability to make defenders look absolutely silly with feints and spins. Route definition is raw, to be sure, but has a nascent ability to plant and go on a route corner. Legit rushing skills out of the backfield—he’s not just a Tavon Austin-style gadget player there. He gained over 1,000 yards on the ground in both 2012 and 2013 as a rushing quarterback. At this point, he’s a natural slot receiver who understands how to sink into zones and drive into openings. His ability to move into backfield action gives his offense a different and potentially effective look. Aggressive and willing blocker.

• 2016 NFL draft tracker: Follow along with every pick 

Weaknesses: As you’d expect for a guy who has only played the position for one season, Miller has a lot of work to do with the subtleties of being a receiver. Didn’t run the full route tree at Ohio State—used primarily on slants, drags, quick passes, and vertical stuff. Will need to grow into an intermediate role. There’s not a lot of tape of him dominating outside against an opponent’s best cornerback; he may be stuck in the slot role for a long time before he gets the hang of that. Was able to rely on pure athleticism against simple college coverages far more than he will be able to in the NFL. He is not yet experienced with contested catches and has had bouts with drops and alligator arms. Has the athleticism to return punts and kicks, but has no history there. The injuries in his past may give some teams pause.

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