Let's study Lamar Miller - is he a steal, a trap or something in between?
Player: Lamar Miller
2012 Stats: Att: 51 Yards:250 YPC:4.9 TD: 1
Current Average Draft position : 60.4
Background: Lamar Miller is expected to take over the backfield duties for the Miami Dolphins this year with the departure of Reggie Bush. It is believed that Miller could be a three down back this year, a commodity in which is slowly dying in Fantasy Football lately. The only problem with Miller is the lack of film on the guy. With only 51 carries last year, there is not a lot to go on, other than the simple eye ball test, and what we are hearing in the offseason. Miller’s average draft position as of today in ESPN leagues is 60.4. In a 12 team league that puts you at the end of the 5th round. However, in the mock drafts that I have completed over the last few days I have seen him going as early as the fourth round in a 12 team league. This is a risky pick so high, but one that could pay off.
Miller is viewed as a player that is going to take that big next step this year. However, with all of this hype, his draft value continues to rise. And as his draft value continues to rise, that makes him a riskier and riskier pick at the position that he is being taken at. Miller has been working hard this off season, and has been training with Frank Gore. Players and front office staff from the Miami Dolphins have praised Miller’s work ethic this year. Including his ability to pick up blitzers on third down. Which was a reason he was not on the field a lot in the 2012 season. With him improving his ability of blitz pick up, this is what is going to allow him to become a three down back. Miller has clearly been putting in the work based on all the reports that have been put out about him. A big factor in what could be a very successful season for Miller is the fact that he may be an “under the radar” player for the Dolphins, even though he is starting to get that spot light of being a potential break out player this year.
The reason he can be considered under the radar is the fact that Miami went on a spending spree in this offseason. And a lot of talk has gone on about those acquisitions. The big free agent signing of Mike Wallace should help open up the field for Miami. The defenses are not going to be able to continuously bring a safety down into the box, because they have to respect Wallace’s over the top speed. In addition to Wallace, Miami picked up Dustin Keller & Brandon Gibson. Keller is another guy who should open up the field for Miller, with his ability to run those seam routes he ran with the Jets. And Miller is a guy that is electric in open space. He has the quick jump cut style running that will benefit from the open space. Early on in the season, defenses are likely going to be planning to stop Miami’s passing game, and paying little attention to Miller. This should give Miller the ability to run wild in open space and get his confidence up as an NFL starter.
Reasons Millers draft stock could rise: Because of Millers lack of playing time last year the Dolphins are probably going to use Miller a lot during the preseason to get him in game reps. This is going to potentially highlight what Miller is capable of. And even if he doesn’t have a huge preseason, fantasy football fans are finally going to get to see this guys “burst”, and see him hit that next year on some of runs. And from the film on I have seen on this guy, it is extremely hard to ignore.
Reasons Millers draft stock could fall: Miami appears to still have issues on the O-Line. They brought in Clabo from the Falcons to help sure up the line. But the Dolphins still have Martin at LT. And from early training camp reports, Martin has been doing a terrible job. In addition to the terrible job that Martin is doing, the O-line does not seem to be communicating well, and is playing poorly as a group. If the Dolphins can figure out their O-line issues during the preseason, or come up with an answer at LT, it could figure to be a disappointing season for Miller. Miller has all the potential, and appears to have the makings of a successful running back, but it may be something we never get to see this year thanks to the O-line of the Dolphins.
Conclusion: We all want the 'go to' back for a team and Miami has little else going besides Miller. That said, there are problems with Miami's offense and Miller is interesting, but not a definitive grab for 2013. Plan accordingly, gamble accordingly - Miller has a big boom and bust potential for this year.