Despite a second year that saw him take a big step forward, one media outlet recently named Raiders tackle KoltonMiller a hot seat candidate.
The drafting of Kolton Miller by the then-Oakland Raiders in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft came as quite a shock. Many experts had Miller as a second or even third round pick, but he landed in Oakland despite the fact the team had Donald Penn returning.
From the start, Miller was the team’s left tackle, especially with Penn not being ready for training camp due to injury. He had a very rough first season in the NFL, as he battled through injuries and inconsistent play, but he came out on the other side better for it.
Entering his third season, Miller has drawn rave reviews from the likes of Trent Brown, but not all out there are sold.
Nate Davis from USA Today recently put out a list of 20 former first round picks that could be on the hot seat in 2020. Surprisingly, Miller was named on the list, despite the fact that he played at a much higher level in Year 2.
Davis stated that while Miller did improve last year, that was not hard to do based on his terrible rookie season.
"Miller allowed seven sacks last year after surrendering 16 the previous season and, at 6-8 and 325 pounds, will likely always be susceptible to edge rushers able to bend low and under him. That might not be as much an issue if Miller’s run blocking was better. Lot to work on here."
High expectations for Miller in Year 3
While Miller did struggle as a rookie, and had moments last year where he looked like a guy in his second season, his growth year over year was very promising for the Raiders organization. With Brown entrenched at right tackle, a spot he is one of the best in the game playing, it is crucial that Miller continues to move in the right direction.
Miller must come out and play well in 2020 if this Raiders team is going to make the leap to being a playoff team, but I do not feel he is on the hot seat by any means. In fact, you could make the argument that he is developing into one of the anchors on this offensive line, and is only going to get better from here on out.
This Raiders line was recently rated the best in football by Pro Football Focus in terms of pass blocking on longer developing plays. Miller is a big reason why that is the case, and when it comes to the duo of him and Brown, they could end up being one of the best in football.