Anthony Miller, WR Memphis
Height: 5’11” (unofficial)
Weight: 190 (unofficial)
Arm: (to be added)
Hand: (to be added)
Wing: (to be added)
40-time: 4.55 (projected)
NFL Comparison: Justin Hardy
Anthony Miller was not heavily recruited out of Christian Brothers High School in Memphis (zero offers) and actually came to the Tigers as a walk-on in 2013. While he was a productive player as a prep, many of the coaches who would come to see him in high school were likely scared off by a 40-time that was reportedly in the 4.7-range.
Connecticut Coach Randy Edsall — who surely never offered Miller a scholarship — did get to know him well enough eventually, however. After seeing Miller go for 15 receptions, 224 yards and four TDs against his UCONN squad in 2017, he said “(Miller) understands what they’re trying to do (on offense), understands defenses, understands how to get open, understands how to get off the line of scrimmage,” Edsall said. “He’s got a real good feel for the game.”
If I could only describe Miller in one word, it would be “instinctive.”
Miller just finds ways to get open and his hands are as sticky as they come. For a smaller wideout, he has big mitts that clamp onto the football in a way that reminds you of Justin Hardy at ECU — another walk-on-to-superstar player at the mid-major level of college football. Miller reminds you of Hardy not only in his prolific and record-shattering numbers but also in his fluid nature in seeing the ball in, framing it with concentration and keeping the football’s placement in the easiest spots to transition upfield after-catch. He’s an excellent ball-catcher with naturally soft hands who can win much more often than you would think in contested-catch situations thanks to his ability to frame the ball so well away from his body and to whittle out space for windows even in close coverage.
In the UConn broadcast above, Mack Brown noted that Miller was “quick as a puff of smoke,” and, like many sayings Coach Brown has, I like that one. He’s tough to tackle in space with the ball in his hands — and that is shown time after time in every game you watch of his. He can shake a defender out of his jock with a juke or a jump-cut, but he’s just as likely to try and use a little physicality to run through closing corners and safeties. He’s plays bigger than he is and he’s quicker than he is fast. A lot of people are going to look at the measurables alone in Miller (assuming that he tests relatively unexplosively) and not realize that he’s a gamer who shows up BIG when the lights come on. He runs clean routes and can create separation in a variety of ways which we always look for, plus he is a great blocker in the run game.
As always, this will be updated when we know what team he goes to as team fit will be key, but Miller clearly has big fantasy upside in PPR as a player who could become a go-to slot WR option in most any offense. I feel like Justin Hardy is the best comparison due to how similar these guys look on film coming out, but I don’t think the comparisons you hear to Steve Smith Sr. are that far out of line. While I’m not sure that Miller has the low 4.4 speed of a Steve Smith which enabled the senior citizen to line up all over the formation through his career, including at times outside as a downfield burner, both players play much bigger and beastlier than their stature would indicate. I can’t wait to see Miller at Senior Bowl practices for further insight which we’ll surely share ad-nauseum in future features.
Senior wide receiver Anthony Miller was named an NCAA Consensus All-American, Thursday. He is just the third NCAA Consensus All-American in Memphis history and is the first non-specialist to earn Consensus honors. Joe Allison (1992) and Tom Hornsey (2013) are the other two NCAA Consensus All-Americans in program history.
Miller is one of three wide receivers on the NCAA Consensus Team this year. Oklahoma State’s James Washington was a unanimous selection and Miller is joined on the team by Colorado State’s Michael Gallup. With the tie, both Miller and Gallup earned NCAA Consensus honors.
Miller was named a first team All-America honoree by the AFCA, the Associated Press, ESPN and The Athletic’s All-American. He earned second team honors from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) , Sports Illustrated and the Sporting News.
Also the winner of the Touchdown Club of Columbus’ Paul Warfield Award and a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, Miller is looking to leave Memphis as the program’s all-time leading receiver. He needs three more catches and 27 yards to tie his own single season records in the Memphis record books. He will leave Memphis as the single game, single season and career record holder in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
A graduate of Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Miller has 92 catches for 1,407 yards and 17 touchdowns so far this season with the Tigers’ bowl game appearance against Iowa State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl still on the slate for Dec. 30th at 11:30 a.m. on ABC.