After what has been reported as a very good performance at the Senior Bowl, I've been doing a little research on Von Miller. I wasn't very high on him during the 2010 season, but admittedly, I probably should have been. He's had great production during his Junior and Senior years with the Aggies.
The more I look into Mr. Miller, the more good things I find about him. Seems like an upstanding your man with good college production. The question then becomes whether or not he can translate that production into the NFL.
Based on his current draft positioning, I have to believe most of the experts/pundits seem to think that transition to the Pro's won't be a problem for him. (answers that question)
My final question was whether or not he was worth the third overall pick in the draft.
Here is what ESPN's draft tracker says about him. Link
Regarding Instincts and recognition:
Possesses natural instincts and finds and reacts to the ball in a timely manner. Quick diagnosis allows him to play in opponent's backfield and cause disruption. However, going to need time to adjust to angles and overall awareness at the LB position. When aligned at LB during film study did false step on occasion and needs to take better angles with run fits. Flashes ability to recognize screens but can get caught too far upfield against draw plays.
Regarding Strenght and toughness:
Possesses functional strength in the upper body. However, appears to have a thin lower half which leads to some concerns about ability to anchor when teams elect to run at him. Can be engulfed by bigger and more massive OTs when caught in a phone booth. To his credit generally plays with leverage and uses hands well to disengage from blocks. Also has above-average balance and is rarely knocked off feet. Plays with a very high motor when feeling involved in play but can does show some inconsistency with effort when chasing in pursuit.
In my opinion, specifically regarding the comments about lower body size concerns, I have trouble convinving myself that this is a guy that is going to be an every down player, helping to anchor our defense for the next 5-10 years. I don't think that is asking too much from a top 5 draft pick. If you are taking a linebacker that early in the draft, you better be banking on him being a big part of your defense for many years to come. Unfortunately, when I read the notes above, I envision a player that will be coming into the lineup for Chris Kelsay in passing situation because he doesn't have the size to play run downs where he can take on a blocker, set the edge and shed to make the tackle. And I'm not talking specifically his measurable weight. I think it has a lot more to do with body build and how a player carries themselves (see London Fletcher).
Can you help convince me that this player is capable of meeting our expectations at being a #3 overall pick in this year's draft?