I've watched a ton of tape on Von Miller in the past two days trying to get behind the Von Miller idea. The more and more I watch Von Miller jumps out to me as a 3-4 OLB, not a linebacker in the 4-3 system. I don’t see him playing the SAM (strong side) and with DJ playing the WILL (weak side), where does he fit?
Miller's role in the A&M defense over the past three years has been fairly simple: get after the quarterback on almost every play. This won’t work in the NFL under the 4-3 system just too much talent at the Quarterback and Offensive line positions. Teams will find him and slide coverage over and quarterback will just dump the ball off to a back or TE. In the 3-4 alignment you can hide where the blitzer is coming from and make it harder for offensive lines to prepare from him. With that said he did win the 2010 Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker and has been a thorn in the side of passers and offensive linemen since he arrived in College Station, but his overall instincts for the position, particularly containment and run responsibility and reaction, are questionable since he was primarily used in a that "sic 'em" role.
Since Miller was such an elite pass rushing specialist in college, I have concerns about his ability to drop into coverage at the NFL level, plus stop the run. At 6 ‘ 2″ and under 240 lbs. at the Senior Bowl, there may also be questions as to whether he will be able to hold up to the rigors of defending the run at the next level.
Playing the comparison game, Mayock has compared Miller to a smaller version of DeMarcus Ware, and analyst Michael Lombardi believes it’s fair to compare Miller to Matthews. Both of which are 3-4 OLB, so again where does he fit? Von Miller maybe the best linebacker in the draft, but with Denver making the switch to 4-3 does Denver have a spot for him?
This is a quote from MIKE MAYOCK: “I think that Von Miller from Texas A&M is the prototype 3 4 rush linebacker. He's got an amazing ability to not only have a great get off and quickness, but also to bend his body to twist and turn, flatten the corner to get to a quarterback. He's a tiny bit undersized and you've got to get yourself comfortable with that. He's not as big as a DeMarcus Ware was when he came out but I think he's tough enough to overcome that.”
Not to mention that Von Miller’s name is on the antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. This may not be the best way to start your pro career. So if Denver drafts him, where will he play? Please help me to get on the Von Miller bandwagon!