Editor’s Note: As our coverage of the 2016 NFL Draft and its impact on fantasy football continues, we bring you our 2016 Rookie SWOT series. These articles will feature video highlights, combine reviews, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, short-term expectations, long-term expectations and rookie draft advice for over 30 of the best dynasty league prospects from this year’s draft. We’ll follow that up with team-by-team draft reviews because, you know, that’s kind of what we live for.
Make sure you’re ready for your dynasty league rookie draft by staying up on all these articles, checking out our rookie draft guide, rookie rankings, rookie draft cheat sheet and mock draft rooms. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football enthusiasts.
Name: Braxton Miller
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Houston Texans
College Team: Ohio State
Draft Status: Round Three, #85 Overall
Weight: 201 Pounds
Hands: 9 1/8’’
Arm Length: 31 ¾’’
40-Yard Dash: 4.5 Seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.07 Seconds
3-Cone: 6.65 Seconds
Vertical Jump: 35.0 Inches
Broad Jump: 123 Inches
Miller has the size and athleticism to beat some of the top defensive backs in the NFL. He has very loose hips, making it easy for him to quickly get in and out of his breaks. Due to his speed and quickness he is very dangerous with the ball in space. He’s capable of making difficult catches away from his body in traffic. Miller had to digest the entire offense when he was Ohio State’s quarterback during his freshman and sophomore seasons, showing that he has a high football IQ. Even with limited experience at wide receiver, the Houston Texans still thought he was talented enough to be drafted in the third round.
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With only one year of experience as a wide receiver, Miller is still very raw and is currently developing as a route runner. He often relied on his athleticism to get by defenders which is something he’s not going to be able to do at the next level. He wasn’t a major focal point of Ohio State’s passing game as he only accounted for 12.59 percent of the team’s targets. To put this into perspective, he only had three more targets than freshman running back Curtis Samuel. He only caught nine passes during the last six games of the season proving his inexperience kept him from becoming a consistent asset to the team.
DeAndre Hopkins is one of the best wide receivers in the league and he’s going to get his share of the targets unless something drastic happens. Not only will he be competing with Hopkins for targets but the Texans spent a first round pick on Will Fuller and they are going to give Fuller every opportunity to succeed within the offense due to the draft capital they used to acquire him. Miller must develop quickly if he wants a chance to strip away any targets from Hopkins and Fuller.
Quarterback Brock Osweiler is currently in the developmental phase of his career and doesn’t have any experience boosting a young wide receiver’s development. Unlike a veteran quarterback, he’s still learning some of the nuances of the game and he may not be at the point of his career where he could elevate an inexperience wide receiver. Hopkins is going to routinely be the first read in the offense and the odds are highly likely that Osweiler builds a strong rapport with him causing Miller to be on the outside looking in.
Don’t expect much out of him during the first season of his career, because he’s still learning the basics of the position. It’s going to take him more time to get acclimated to the offensive system compared to most rookie wide receivers because he’s at a disadvantage due to his lack of experience. He’s a player you’re going to have to be patient with during the first couple years of his career because there’s a good chance he’s going to get minimal playing time until he proves to the coaching staff that he can be reliable on the field. If anything, he should provide minimal production while flashing tons of athleticism during the first two years of his career.
The story of Miller’s career is going to play out in one of two ways. He’s either not going to develop and become a colossal bust or become one of the best receivers in the league. It’s easy to paint the picture to why he could possibly be out of the league within a few seasons because there’s not that many players who have made the switch from quarterback to receiver and become successful doing it. He’s an amazing athlete and he has a high football IQ which can translate to on field production quicker than we can predict.
He compares to Jeremy Maclin athletically as both players are very fast and can eat up a lot of yards in the open field. Like Maclin, he is very good at catching the ball in stride and making the defender whiff on the tackle by using elusive footwork. Once Miller starts to mature as a receiver and become more polished at route running his game should end up being similar to Maclin’s.
Cordarrelle Patterson is another player that compares to Miller because he’s an athletic freak that is dangerous with the ball in space. Both players are raw talents but have the ability to win with their athleticism.
Rookie Draft Advice
In DLF’s Rookie ADP, Miller is currently being selected at 18.20 overall which is considered a mid-second round pick in rookie drafts. He has the potential to fall to the third round due to his landing spot combined with lack of experience at wide receiver. His price range is appropriate but I wouldn’t recommend spending anything higher than a mid-second round pick on him because he’s a boom or bust type of prospect. Miller is a gamble because there’s a chance he could net zero in return in fantasy production but his upside makes him worth the risk during the second to third round of rookie drafts.