SB Nation D.C. is profiling 2011 NFL prospects playing in the 2011 Senior Bowl, as well as all others, in the weeks leading up to the draft. Here is Jack Anderson's take on outside linebacker Von Miller from Texas A&M.
No. 40: OLB Von Miller (6-2, 237 lbs.), Texas A&M
Mocking the Draft ranking: 35th overall.
Miller recorded 178 tackles and 33 sacks with the Aggies, including a 17-sack junior campaign. He is a smallish rush end/outside linebacker who played in a 3-4 defense at Texas A&M. He keeps a low center of gravity and is very explosive.
It's all about speed coming off the edge for Miller, who racked up nine tackles and a sack in this year‘s Cotton Bowl. He is widely considered among the best pass rushers in the draft, and I saw him line up at both outside linebacker positions in the film I watched. With Andre Carter likely departing and Lorenzo Alexander far from a full time starter, Miller could help form a nice set of bookends at outside linebacker with Brian Orakpo. We'll see what he can do this weekend at the Senior Bowl.
The biggest weakness in Miller's game seems to be the fact he is a one-dimensional player. He relies almost exclusively on his speed rush around the tackles, and if the quarterback steps up in the pocket, Miller is down and out of the play. He tends to over-pursue in the run game, and often gets swallowed up by bigger blockers. He will learn how to shed linemen, but his size is a huge concern.
He projects be a great situational pass rusher, especially on a team with a pass rushing threat up the middle, but there are questions concerning his coverage skills and his ability against the run. With the same criticisms being leveled at Orakpo, will the Redskins take a similar player to place opposite him?
Miller's athleticism is tempting, but with so many other needs, including a presence in the middle of the defensive line, the Redskins can't afford the luxury of taking an edge rusher in the first round. They need a complete player with fewer liabilities at outside linebacker, and Miller doesn't fit that mold.