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Re-examining Von Miller at OLB

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Ochmed Jones, Feb 6, 2011.

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  1. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    Could he work in our defense?

    If we move Wilfork to DE and let Love take over at NT, we could stand Miller up on Wilfork's outside shoulder on Mayo's side of the defense.

    What does that do? If makes running that way really hard (by going through Wilfork and Mayo, with presumably Chung filling), even though Miller does not project as a sturdy run stopper and it upgrades pass rushing, via Miller, nearly 100% over Ninkovich or TBC while also improving coverage, again via Miller.

    The other side of the defense would have Ty Warren with some combination of Cunningham, Spikes, Guyton, Ninkovich and Fletcher.

    The suddenness of Miller coming off the edge would cause opposing offenses to slide coverage which opens huge lanes for Spikes or Guyton or Fletcher to blitz through.

    So could OLB Miller work in our defense?
  2. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    I posted this in another thread but to add to your thoughts.

    Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M: It might be too easy to put Miller on this list, but with all of the hype leading up to this week in Mobile, the A&M linebacker still had to show up and play. He did get a chance to display his ability to rush off of the edge in one-on-ones and you can see his natural speed and athletic ability when he is playing in space—because he can close on the ball carrier. That’s very noticeable. However, what stood out even more was watching Miller drop into coverage. He moves like a strong safety playing the curl-to-flat reads in Cover 3. How high does he go? It is still early in this process, but the talk down in Mobile had Miller pegged as a legit top ten pick after this week. If he tests well in Indy, we should see that happen.

    Five players that stood out at the Senior Bowl | National Football Post

    SENIOR BOWL PRACTICE, TUESDAY: When watching tight ends, it is nearly impossible not to also watch a team's linebackers, both in their ability to hold up against run blocking, as well as in coverage. The top linebacker on the field today was Texas A&M star Von Miller--and that's not even considering his work as a pass rusher in one-on-one drills. Miller surprised scouts at Monday's weigh-in with his thick lower body, which he used to hold up Williams and Stocker when man-up on run plays. His coverage skills are what really stood out, though, as the quick Williams could not separate from Miller on out routes because of the former Aggie's own lateral agility and speed. A linebacker with Miller's closing speed to the quarterback, who also can be effective in coverage, is destined for a slot in the top 20 overall selections. - Chad Reuter, NFLDraftScout.com

    Von Miller, Texas A&M, NFL Draft - CBSSports.com - NFLDraftScout.com


    With his 6' 2-3" and 240-245 depending on the source I had kind of written him off for the Patriots and if he's going in the top ten I probably still can but if he's able to gain leverage on the edge in the run game and drop into coverage and has that elite burst along with several pass moves I have to wonder if that moves him into the conversation. Cameron Wake is 6' 3" 250 and does a good, not great, job against the run. 5-10 pounds in the NFL conditioning program....
  3. convertedpatsfan

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    There would be a lot of "ifs" involved.

    First, Miller would have to drop to a point where we could even draft him.

    Love at NT didn't look pretty at times. Of course it was also his rookie season, and he could make a huge leap in the off-season, but again, another "if."

    I like Wilfork at end. If we can't get good value on a DE, I wonder if BB would contemplate taking a DT like Phil Taylor and move Wilfork out to DE. That presents another question though of how he'd handle the move full-time, not to mention the questions surrounding a rookie DT.

    And the other thing about Miller is he can't set the edge consistently right now. But just because a guy can't do something doesn't mean he couldn't learn and improve. He just hasn't had to do it often.

    From what I've read, he's not just an athlete, but works hard, has good technique, and is very coachable. He's improved dramatically over the past year, so while there are certain holes in his game, we shouldn't say that it will always be that way.

    So I wouldn't be against it if he dropped in the draft, but he'd have to drop a lot before we got a chance at him, and even then, we probably still wouldn't draft him.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  4. Sciz

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    If the goal is to have a truly elite defense, and I think that's always the case with BB, then the plan should not be to cover up a weak link by putting him next to a strong link, but to have multiple strong links. Miller next to Wilfork isn't nearly as good against the run as Vrabel next to Seymour. We should be striving for the later, not the former.
  5. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

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    They played opposite sides.
  6. Sciz

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    You get the point:p
  7. NePatriots

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    It is standard practice for the Patriots to shade towards their ROLB in the run game. I don't like Von Miller for the Pats 3-4, but Ochmed's premise is not off base.
  8. TheBaronPatriot

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    One piece that is often discounted here is the player's work ethic. Is he a selfless team first guy? Does he work hard? Does he a have a desire to learn? Does he love the game?

    Given all these I think the answer is yes and don't see why he couldn't learn to set the edge given coaching.

    But I think his draft position is going to be really affected by his 40 time. If he runs in the 4.7s we may have a chance at him - but if he runs a 4.5 he's probably out of reach.

    Another aspect of this angle is that he has shown remarkable abilities as a coverage man with very little experience. So we would have the flexibility to use him in coverage as well as a rushing the qb.
  9. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    So, to me it sounds like you're proposing to have 7-8 in the box on every play in order to accomodate ONE new player who may or may not turn out to be a stud pass-rusher in the NFL. And we'd have to spend a significant chunk of our existing picks to move up to get him?
  10. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    This situation is only possible IF Miller falls to #17. Again IF Miler fell to #17, BB's phone will be ringing off the hook, but if BB is serious about fielding the best team possible, he has to consider Miller at #17 even if Miller is not a 100% fit.
  11. BPF

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    I'm always reading that the Pats have a problem at DE. The Pats biggest problems on D are playmakers at OLB and a physical secondary. They've worked on the secondary and seemingly fixed that problem now the task is to find plamakers at OLB. Yes there is a need for a DE but that was more a result of injuries this past season. The key to a 3-4 is the NT, and as mentioned playmakers at LB and a physical secondary. With Ty Warren and Bodden coming back I like the DL and secondary. I also think Brace will continue to improve. If a player like C. Jordan from Cal is available who can give you flexibility with his strength and playmaking ability both vs run and pass as a 3 down player I like that pick otherwise I think the big focus should be to get more playmakers at OLB. Miller, although not prototypical in terms of length and weight in the Pats system has some definite qualities that can help this D. I believe he can be a 3-down player but at worse he can be very effective in sub D (57% of the snaps for Pats last season) as a rusher or in coverage. As he learns the Pats defense and how to set the edge he can be an every down player. Being able to set the edge vs some of these big OL these days doesn't necessarily mean you have to be 6-5.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  12. Shelterdog

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    I take it you've never seen Von Miller play. He's a 237 pound guy who gets demolished by college tackles. He will be a massive liability in the run game, particularly if he's in a 3-4; teams ran all over him in college.

    He's not a fit and he's going to be gone by about the sixth pick in the draft so it's not even an issue.

    He'll have a sweet madden rating though.
  13. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    Again, I have a different perspective. For me, the problems with both pass defense and the pass rush stem from having to devoted too many resources/bodies to stopping the run. Miller won't fix that for us.
  14. Box_O_Rocks

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    For his Senior Bowl weigh-in he came in at 6' 2 1/2" 237 lbs which puts him at the low end of the measurable scale for a NE LB. His 34" arms and 9 1/2" hands were a plus. Miller is an accomplished edge rusher, another plus. Miller has been playing in a 3-4 of sorts, but one where he was still being asked to engage blockers with the wrong shoulder, he was getting some exposure to dropping into coverage - some good, some not so good from that mix. He was more fluid in coverage at the Senior Bowl, a plus.

    I suspect he was at 237 as a result of the conditioning work he was doing for the Combine between their bowl game and Senior Bowl week, I would expect him to be in the 240-242 range for the Combine.

    Mayo was 242 at the Combine and reported he was at 250 at the start of Training Camp his sophomore season. NE still lists him at 242 on the unofficial roster.

    Rosevelt Colvin was 6' 2 3/8" 256 at the Combine, NE listed him at 6'3" 250 on their roster, I doubt he played much over 255 at anytime while he was with NE.

    I suspect Von Miller has the potential to grow into a Rosevelt Colvin quality player -- I could live with that.

    Draft Strategy: If Miller gets by Arizona at #5, I wouldn't worry about anyone before Houston taking a strong interest in him. Houston hired Wade Phillips to switch to a Dallas/SD 3-4 and he may consider Miller a Demarcus Ware type prospect. If he gets by Houston, I could see him sliding to #17.
  15. BPF

    BPF Rookie

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    I agree but he will certaily help on 3rd down in passing situations. The Pats started using Fletcher a bit towards the end of the season in a role where he was either in coverage or blitzing. He made some plays in coverage vs Ravens and as a blitzer vs GB. They need more of these type of players so they don't always sit back on 3rd down and depend on the likes of Pryor and Wright to get there on the rush.
  16. WesWelker83

    WesWelker83 Rookie

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    If he can't set the edge forget about him. BB will not trade up for him and hes not dropping to 17. Miller will be a very good player in the league in a 4-3 Defense at OLB.
  17. Sciz

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    I think he'll be drafted as a 3-4 OLB in an attacking scheme. Clay Matthews can't take on blocks to save his life, but that's fine in a scheme that cares more about big plays than preventing the big play.
  18. Patriot Missile

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    Dead on. Jordan is my first choice as well. He is too versatile too pass on. However if he is gone and Miller is there I like him as the pick. He did some great things in the Senior bowl practices and scrimmages against the best college tackles. Sherrod was beat by him a few times. He has got some great pass rush moves for a guy so young. Freeney like spin move, strong hand for pushing off tackles. He's only going to get better with age and weight.
  19. BPF

    BPF Rookie

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    Btw, two great 3-4 OLB's ht/wt: Andre Tippett 6-3, 241 (came in to the league at 231) and Lawrence Taylor 6-3, 237. I know some will say OL were smaller in the early part of their careers but they both played effectively till 1993 (Tip had 8.5 sacks in 1993).
  20. VJCPatriot

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    Ok, you just lost me by moving Wilfork OUT of the nose in favor of Love. ^_^ I mean come on man, are you serious? You want to put a rookie UDFA as our starter on defense, just so you can somehow shoehorn Von Miller into the D. This is seriously pulling at straws. In any case, Miller will be a top 10 pick so that's not going to be a problem. Great 4-3 player, but not a fit for the Pats unless you go through some extreme mental/scheming contortions that don't make sense.

    Now if we had a big ugly like Phil Taylor at the nose, then experimenting with Wilfork at DE could be interesting. But ultimately it would still be an experiment. I don't see BB gambling the two high picks it would take to move up for Miller to even start this conversion experiment.

    Von Miller officially measured in at 6'2.5" and 237 lbs at the Senior Bowl. He's too much of a runt to play OLB in the Pats system . I don't know where these inflated numbers are coming from. But he's definitely not 6'3 and he doesn't even crack 240. Miller just does NOT fit the BB linebacker prototype.
    http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=4321
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011
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