Von Miller has been a force for the past two seasons with the Aggies. His scheme design worked best for him to showcase his natural abilities and allowed him to thrive in situations that he worked best at: rushing the passer and being a disruptive force in the backfield. When transitioning to the next level, the main questions surrounding him will be primarily about if he’s able to fully cover in passing situations and his size.
But could he go all the way into the Top 5? With his skill set and his ability to make an instant impact in the NFL, it’s not going to be a reach come draft day if he does go that high.
Von Miller plays the hybrid “Jack” position, a standing Defensive End position specifically geared for rushing the passer. Von has great instincts on sniffing plays out and being able to know how plays will attack. He stays very focused on his assignment and his football IQ gives him the ability to be in a good spot to make a play on the ball during most defensive snaps.
He rushes the passer with an aggressive and targeting demeanor; he will look to immerse himself in the play often and seal the edges to close plays up from expanding. He has a great internal motor and will not give up on a play prematurely. His strength makes him a very difficult blocker as well since he has great speed and a slightly smaller size. A lot of offensive tackles have had issues squaring up and securely blocking him due to his versatility and knowing how to adjust his body so blockers can’t get a full hand on him.
For the passing situations, he will need a continued focus on making sure he’s able to play well in zone. Continued effort in the film room to better understand zone coverage responsibilities and proper outside coverage against Tight Ends and Backs out in space will add to his already tremendous value.
His size is something that teams will be willing to overlook mainly because of his motor. His weight is a little light, only being 243. When matching up on the pro level against tackles which are at least 300 lbs and have fast footwork, he’s going to need to have a little more momentum weight to get the offensive lineman off balance.
If he’s able to put about 10-15 lbs on and maintain his speed, I believe he can be a very aggressive pass rusher in a 34 scheme on the pro level. With such a large percentage of NFL Teams now using 34 defensive schemes, Von will be coveted as probably the top linebacker in the draft due to his athletic ability and his constant drive at breaking up plays in the backfield.
The one benefit to his size which might be viewed by some teams is how well he handles himself in traffic. Due to his build, he’s able to maneuver himself in crowded situations and still drive the play back. Its this and his motor that make him play “longer” than what he physically is. He’s able to cover more ground and be more impactful in a larger range than most every other linebacker in the draft this year. I believe you’ll see teams go after Von quickly, and I can’t see him slipping any further than the Top 10.