Everyone who watched Braxton Miller make his first catches as a wide receiver in Week 1 for the Ohio State Buckeyes was stunned at his raw talent, including NFL scouts and at least one former general manager.
Former Cleveland Browns general manager and current Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage was very impressed by the converted quarterback. Speaking with Jon Solomon of CBS Sports, he revealed most scouts were taking a “wait-and-see” approach with Miller. After watching the dynamic athlete in action, however, he said there is no doubt he has the chops to make an impact at the next level.
“To me, that first diving catch he made was the play that grabbed the attention of the NFL that said this guy can be a legitimate receiver,” Savage said. “As far as his NFL future, that was sensational in proving something he had never done before. That catch was big-time. The spin move (on a long touchdown run) was fantastic and that was icing on the cake, but we knew he was athletic.”
Here’s a clip of Miller’s spectacular diving grab—the one that caught the attention of Savage and the rest of the NFL.
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) September 8, 2015
Now check out his ridiculous spin move down the left sideline.
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) September 11, 2015
This kind of athleticism is rare, and you can be sure NFL scouts are beginning to envision him making impact plays like this for their respective teams on Sundays.
When thinking about former quarterbacks who successfully made the transition and played at a high level in the NFL, Savage compared Miller to Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El.
“I would have said last night going into the game most NFL people saw (Miller) as a role-playing backup and let’s see what he can do,” Savage said. “After last night you can say he’s at least a potential starter. I’m always hesitant talking about rounds. But I’d say probably a second- or third-round pick.”
No doubt, if Miller can continue to make big-time plays this season, that grade will only improve. And, once teams start testing his ridiculous athleticism during the combine and individual workouts, it’s conceivable he could be taken in Round 1 next April.
As a mobile quarterback, he compares favorably to Terrelle Pryor, who recently made the switch as a pro. Pryor’s conversion isn’t going as well, mainly because he was injured this summer and because he tried to make the switch as a pro.
Miller, on the other hand, is giving himself an entire year in college to work on his craft and show NFL scouts what he’s capable of accomplishing. This strategy will certainly pay dividends, provided he continues in good health.