Heading into the Combine in February, Miami’s Lamar Miller was already considered one of the top running backs in this year’s draft class. But after Miller’s 4.40 forty time in Indianapolis, the fastest among running backs, even more eyes lit up. In addition to his elite speed, Miller is an elusive, functional back who can carry the load or be effective in a committee situation.
The main negative about Miller is his lack of experience – he is coming out after his sophomore season and only had one year as a starter. However, this inexperience is significantly less of an issue at running back than virtually any other position.
(Photo credit: Lynne Sladky, AP)
Miller is projected to go between the late 1st round and the early 3rd round.
ROOKIE ROUNDUP INTERVIEW
Melissa Jacobs: Back in February you ran the fastest forty time for a running back (4.40). How much has that helped your stock heading into the draft?
Lamar Miller: Yeah, I think it has helped me out. It’s crazy because I had surgery on my left shoulder. I wasn’t really supposed to even be running then, but I did anyway.
MJ: DeMarcus Van Dyke and Josh Robinson were the fastest overall guys at the Combine the past two years. And you among running backs this year. What is with Drew Rosenhaus clients and speed?
LM: I don’t know. I guess he just likes to target the fastest guys out there.
MJ: What current NFL running backs do you think your style most emulates?
LM: I don’t like to compare myself to anyone, but a lot of people compare me to Clinton Portis.
MJ: How has another Miami running back, Frank Gore, helped you along the way?
LM: Yeah, he’s been a mentor figure. I have known Frank Gore since I was in high school. We don’t talk all the time, but enough. And I feel like I can call him. Frank just gives me the heads up on staying positive and encourages me to consider my hard work.
MJ: How exciting was it to watch him in the playoffs this year?
LM: It was great. I was happy for Frank. He is so exciting to watch because you never know what he’s going to do with the ball. He just plays the game with passion.
MJ: Back to you, what has been the most difficult part of this whole draft process?
LM: Nothing really, other than the waiting. So much waiting at this point.
MJ: What is your defining characteristic, not as a running back, but as a person?
LM: I am a just a laid back guy who likes to have fun and laugh all the time.
MJ: Last thing, what are you looking forward to purchasing after you sign your first NFL contract?
LM: A car, for sure. I have my eye on the Porsche Panamera.
Rookie Roundup is a series of interviews with select NFL prospects. Look for new rookies every week leading up the draft.