The Oakland Raiders selected UCLA tackle Kolton Miller with the 15th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. To the chagrin of many, Miller walked to the podium and became the first pick of the new Gruden regime. With so many defenders still available, the Raiders selected a bookend tackle. .
Name: Kolton Miller
Weight: 309 pounds
Miller mirrors and counters secondary pass rush moves. In a league where many rushers string together moves, Miller, resets and stays in prime blocking position. Moreover, Miller’s condor-like reach keeps defenders from his chest and helps nullify any swim move. For a player of his length, Miller uses a decent kickstep to slide at the point of attack.
Too often, Miller plays tall and fails to stay behind his pads. As a result, defenders can slip his punch, carving a quicker route to the play. In addition, Miller’s frame affects his ability to anchor during a bull rush. When a defender converts speed to power, Miller will lunge at the rusher. That is to say, Miller will leave his feet behind and try to reach a defender taking a looping path to the backfield.
Meanwhile, Miller’s ability to drop his hips in the run game needs work as well. Defenders will slip under his pads and stand Miller up, forcing him into the backfield.
Despite the glaring defensive needs, Miller will start from the first day. However, the only question remains is where. With Donald Penn signed, but reaching the end of his career, do the Raiders keep the former Pro Bowler and shift Miller to the right side for the next year. On the other hand, with many picks remaining, the Raiders could look to shore up both tackles spots. While Miller is not the ideal pick, he satisfies a need. In reality, the Raiders offensive did improve with his selection.