Despite Cecil Shorts III showing some flashes of effectiveness throughout his first season as Houston’s slot receiver/wildcat quarterback, Bill O’Brien may be looking to upgrade his receiving corps to make things as easy as possible for his quarterback of the future. As a bonus, having a young, explosive slot weapon that can also throw the ball on gadget plays just like Shorts is something that may be too tempting for the Texans to pass up if the opportunity presents itself. Enter Braxton Miller, one of the most dangerous men to walk the campus of Ohio State in quite some time.
Miller rose to fame four seasons ago as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback before missing the entire 2014 season with a shoulder injury. Coincidentally, Ohio State then went on to win the National Championship that year on the arms of J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones. In 2015, Miller made a move to wide receiver as a 22 year old redshirt senior while Barrett and Jones battled it out for the starting quarterback spot. Miller finished the year with 26 receptions and 341 yards, tacking on an additional 260 rushing yards and 4 total touchdowns. The stats may not have been much to glance at, but Miller’s legendary explosiveness showed up in a big way every time he managed to get his hands on the ball.
Following the 2015 season, scouts and fans alike were not really sure how to project Miller in the NFL. Is he a running back? Is he a wide receiver? Is he a little bit of both? After the first couple days of practices this week for the Senior Bowl, it looks like the former Buckeye has already emphatically answered that question.
I'm sounding like president of his fan club; another impressive day for Braxton Miller. Torching DB's in red zone Crowd going crazy.— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) January 28, 2016
.@BraxtonMiller5 is putting on a free clinic in Mobile. Embarrassing DBs— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 28, 2016
I tweeted this in November and still believe it: if WR Phillip Dorsett can go 1st round, no one should be surprised if Braxton Miller does.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 28, 2016
Braxton Miller gets open but Young finishes the play. https://t.co/S7N9uNlnNh— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) January 26, 2016
When it comes to athletes at North practice, it's Braxton Miller and then everyone else. He's clearly a step above #SeniorBowl— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 26, 2016
Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 28, 2016
Once thought to be a late second or third round prospect on athleticism alone, Miller’s remarkably fast development as a receiver after only one year of experience may have vaulted him straight into the first day of the draft. We will have to wait until late April to find out if the Texans will even get a shot at grouping Miller with DeAndre Hopkins and Jaelen Strong on the outside, but if he does happen to be there in the middle of the second round, do not be shocked to see Bill O’Brien trade up to grab himself yet another weapon.