Round 3, Pick #75: Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
The Raiders have had some success with third round picks in recent years, taking Clive Walford last year, Gabe Jackson the year prior, and Sio Moore the year before that. And while Reggie McKenzie’s previous 3rd round picks have tended to be safer bets, this year’s third round pick could either be a swing-and-miss or home run if the Raiders choose the next player on my wish list.
There has been a pretty good history of athletic quarterbacks-turned-wideouts-slash-return guys-slash-general purpose athletes both with the Raiders and in the NFL. Former QB turned wideout Antwaan Randle-El was a key contributor for the Steelers on a Super Bowl run last decade. Ronald Curry did some good things as a slot receiver for the Raiders for a few years around the same time. And perhaps the best quarterback/receiver/returner prospect in league history should be sitting there in the third round just waiting to become a Raider: Braxton Miller.
Bear Goggles On
Anyone who even casually follows college football knows the Braxton Miller story. A run-first option quarterback at Ohio State who was almost unstoppable, then got injured and saw his backup and his backup’s backup lead the team to a national championship. He returned to Ohio State as a wideout last year and caught 25 passes for 340 yards and three scores, and also rushed for 261 yards on 43 carries, adding another score. His college stat line is unbelievable: 5,295 yards passing, and 52 passing TDs; 3,315 rushing yards, 5.5 yards per carry, and 33 rushing touchdowns, including two 1,000 yard rushing seasons as a quarterback.
Braxton Miller spent only one season working as a wide receiver in an offense that is built around the run game, and his style and skill set doesn’t translate into being a full-time running back. But with his good mix of size, speed and athleticism, combined with his uncanny ability carrying the ball in space, the Raiders should definitely bring him in and let Bill Musgrave figure out how to use him. He could go out there and just catch screen passes, run reverses, and maybe take some Wildcat snaps, but it certainly couldn’t hurt the Raiders to have him.
Next: Raiders Draft Wishlist: Round 4