The Carolina Panthers have signed defensive end Steve Miller. Joey Bosa might have gotten most of the headlines amongst Ohio State defensive ends last season, but had it not been for the 41-yard interception return by Steve Miller in the third quarter of the Sugar Bowl, who knows if the Buckeyes end up beating Alabama and moving on to face Oregon in the College Football Playoff Championship Game.
To many who didn't watch a lot of Ohio State football last season, Miller might be a player who people are racking their brains to remember, mostly because he split time at defensive end with Rashad Frazier. Both players were the beneficiaries of more snaps last season after the suspension and dismissal of star defensive end Noah Spence. Miller made the most of the increased time he saw on the field during his senior season, recording 34 tackles, with 6.5 of those coming behind the line of scrimmage.
Miller will benefit with spending a lot of time in the same defensive line unit as quality players like Joey Bosa, Adolphus Washington, Michael Bennett, and others. Practice and playing with those teammates daily undoubtedly helped him boost his skills, and it showed in his senior season, where he was able to form a solid combo with Frazier. The skills are there for Miller to be a solid defensive end, he just needs more reps to try and develop those skills further. Coming into last season, Miller only had 16 tackles in his Ohio State career, so even though he was a senior, he still is pretty green when it comes to game experience.
At 255 pounds, Miller isn't a huge defensive end in terms of weight, but he isn't all that fast either, with his 40-yard dash clocking in at 5.01 seconds. If Miller was able to increase his speed he could be a solid edge rusher. Obviously Miller isn't going to be a player that is going to come into the NFL and start right away, but if he is able to get a chance to grow as a player, in a few years he could be a solid contributor in the pros.