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Bills Draft Rumors: Coaches Liked Von Miller A Year Ago

If you haven't yet read Matt's interview with I Am The 12th Man regarding Texas A&M OLB Von Miller, you aren't yet privy to the seemingly juicy draft rumor hidden within. You may have skimmed over it even if you did read it. Mike Taglienti, an editor at the site, cited a source to Matt that said if Miller had exited A&M after his junior season, Buffalo Bills coaches liked him enough to take him in the first round.

Should you feel so inclined, add that little nugget to your rumor pile. I will not be, because quite frankly, that doesn't line up logically.

It should first be noted that "they liked him so much after his junior season that they would have drafted him in the first round" (Taglienti's quote) doesn't necessarily mean that the Bills would have taken Miller ahead of C.J. Spiller with the No. 9 overall pick (though it's possible, I suppose). It could just mean that the team had a first-round grade on him, or something of that nature.

More importantly, however, Buffalo didn't even have a coaching staff when Miller decided to return to Texas A&M.

The timeline of this rumor doesn't add up. Miller announced his intentions to return to A&M for his senior season on January 14, 2010 - five days before Bills GM Buddy Nix hired Chan Gailey as his new head coach. Miller's decision predated Gailey's hiring of defensive coordinator George Edwards by three full weeks. Miller, who like this year was viewed purely as a 3-4 outside linebacker a year ago, may not have been a good fit at all - unless Nix knew he'd be hiring a coach that was going to employ that scheme.

If Taglienti's source was passing along accurate information, it almost certainly wasn't coming from Buffalo's coaching staff. Even holdover staff members like Bob Sanders and George Catavolos weren't sure at that point in time whether or not they'd be around.

And in either case, Buffalo's coaches - including Chan Gailey - do not have final say over the team's draft-day direction. As Nix might say, they're a piece of the puzzle. Nix will seek input from them, but that's it. So even if we hit the lottery and, for example, Sanders knew he'd be around (there were already loose ties between him and Gailey), he likely wouldn't have had enough pull in the war room to fulfill Taglienti's report.

The more likely route is that, assuming it's accurate, it came from Buffalo's front office, where most of the scouting staff was retained, and who had put in several months' work on these prospects. It's not out of the realm of possibility at all that one or more of the team's scouts loved Miller; that is obviously the case this year. So while Taglienti's source is very likely incorrect about Buffalo's interest coming from the coaching staff, it's definitely possible that the team's personnel evaluators liked him to that degree last year.

In the end, there are lots of strings tying Miller to Buffalo logically, with the 2011 Senior Bowl chief among them. This is something to keep in mind, but it's not text-your-friend worthy, in my estimation.