The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty managers, we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In our Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profiles and where they fit. The basis of the rookie profile involves the usage of STORM analysis, focusing on five key components: Situation, Talent, Opportunity, Risk, and Market.
Name: Kendre Miller
Position: Running Back
Pro Team: New Orleans Saints
College Team: Texas Christian University
Draft Status: Round Three, 71st overall
Despite missing the national championship game, combine testing, and his pro day after spraining his MCL in the College Football Playoff Semifinal, the New Orleans Saints spent significant draft capital on Kendre Miller in the third round as the fourth overall running back off the board. The organization expects and frankly needs, the TCU alum to be ready by training camp. The initial team depth chart shows Miller third behind All-Pro Alvin Kamara and veteran Jamal Williams. However, the rookie might be called to action sooner rather than later.
While the former Horned Frog’s collegiate career may suggest he’s not a perfect fit for the Saints offensive scheme, the team and Miller himself are confident he can be a solid contributor from day one.
Kendre Miller Combine Results:
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 215 lbs
Arm: 32 ⅜”
Hand: 9 3/8″
40-Yard Dash: Did not participate
10-Yard Split: Did not participate
Vertical Jump: Did not participate
Broad Jump: Did not participate
20-Yard Shuttle: Did not participate
At 5 ’11, 215 pounds, the Fort Worth product has the ideal build of a workhorse NFL running back. As mentioned above, the late-season knee injury kept Miller from participating in the NFL Combine and TCU’s pro day. Thankfully, the tape from his collegiate tenure shows what traits the prospect will bring to the next level.
What immediately jumps off the film is Miller’s tackle-breaking ability. Time after time, not only does the initial defender fail to take down the running back, but how he maintains his balance through the contact is impressive.
The New Orleans rookie also possesses patience and field vision in identifying running lanes. Better yet, Miller is a fantastic North-South runner with big play ability who had an explosive play of 20 yards or more in 12 of 14 games in 2022.
While legal experts seem neutral to optimistic about Alvin Kamara’s pending battery charges, one thing is almost a near certainty; he’ll soon face the consequences of the NFL’s judge, jury, and paycheck executioner: Roger Goodell. The consensus seems to be a six-game suspension, but the NFL Commissioner has never stuck to conventional wisdom when it comes to protecting the shield. Kamara’s inevitable absence at the beginning of the season is a golden opportunity for Miller. If the New Orleans first-year running back impresses enough, he could force the organization to seriously consider exercising the potential 2024 out on the then 28-year-old’s contract.
Alvin Kamara has been indicted for his role in the assault that took place last February in Las Vegas.
This was expected, but there is a lot of misinformation floating around out there so be careful.
Here’s your #FFLegalUpdate & what you need to know for your fantasy teams.
— Drew Davenport (@DrewDavenportFF) February 16, 2023
Now, expect Miller to be Option B of a two-man committee with veteran Jamal Williams during any suspension. The six-year veteran has made a living off thriving in backfield platoons for productive offenses. Instead, it is as the third-down option in Green Bay or the goalline vulture last season in Detroit, breaking the franchise record with 17 (!) touchdowns. Williams signed a $12 million contract with the Saints this offseason which doesn’t offer a potential out until the 2025 season. Meaning the margin for error for the Saints rookie is slim when it comes to carving out a role.
While the film shows Miller as a capable receiver out of the backfield, his limited receiving stats are concerning at first glance. The Horned Frog standout believes he was underutilized as a pass-catching option in college and has been working with the team to refine his skills and footwork. The rookie’s weaknesses in pass-blocking are more problematic than route running. Many talented first-year running backs have struggled to get on the field as the coaching staff cannot trust them in pass protection. Miller’s improvement in this area probably has the most bearing on his dynasty value for the next two seasons.
Since pre-draft evaluations cannot assess one of the most essential pieces of the rookie dynasty value puzzle: draft capital and landing spot. We see significant swings post-draft, and Miller is a perfect example this year. From February 13th to April 26th, the TCU product was selected on average as the 23rd overall player and eighth running back per MLF ADP from single QB rookie drafts. Now (May 1-22), he’s going off the board in the format at eleventh overall and the fifth at his position.
In looking at the overall dynasty landscape, we see Miller similarly valued to DeAndre Hopkins, teammate Kamara, Mike Williams, and fellow rookie Zach Charbonnet. For contending dynasty managers, give me all of those players over the first-year Saint. Yes, he will see a likely increase in workload at the beginning of the season, but you can’t win your league in the first six weeks.
Charbonnet was drafted ahead of Miller in April’s NFL draft and is being selected first in most rookie drafts. This is the order in preference I would rank them for a rebuilding roster. In this weaker RB class, the TCU alum’s perceived value propels him into the first round of rookie drafts. Yet, savvy dynasty managers will pinpoint his actual value as a dart throw RB3. If a league mate is a true believer in the New Orleans rookie running back, send them an inflated offer immediately.
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