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Prospect Michael Miller cuts an unmistakable profile

Posted Apr 12, 2016

Long arms. A massive catch radius. NAIA standout Michael Miller is raw and still learning how to play tight end, but his physical attributes are undeniable.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Michael Miller looks the part.

You couldn't miss the tight end when he walked into the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse late Wednesday morning: 6-foot-6, 252 pounds and arms that seemed to stretch from here to Colorado Springs.

Okay, not that far. But at 36 inches, they are 1 1/2 inches longer than those of any tight end at the Combine. He also said his hands were 11 inches; that, too, would make them bigger than any tight end who earned a February invitation to Indianapolis.

Michael Miller

But it took a while for Miller to get noticed beyond Taylor University.

A player who has Miller's build usually comes from a Division I school, not an NAIA school of just 1,910 undergraduates in tiny Upland, Ind. But the Valor Christian product was a late bloomer as a football player, and coming out of the Colorado high-school powerhouse program, he wanted to find a place where he would fit away from football.

Division I programs made late bids for him in 2013, but Miller was set on the back roads of college football -- for reasons beyond the sport.

"I wanted to go to Taylor," Miller said. "It's a small Christian school, but I knew it was going to be good for me spiritually. You can't play football forever."

And Miller's trajectory, which included a stop at the Broncos' Pro Day on Tuesday, shows that if you're good enough and have some eye-popping measurables, the NFL will find you.

The Panthers, Colts, Cowboys and Saints have all held individual workouts with him, he said. He worked out at Ball State's Pro Day in Muncie, Ind.

But just as important as workouts has been his physical development. At 252 pounds, he is 17 pounds heavier than his listed weight at Taylor, and he looks like he could add more bulk, if needed -- although he displayed some power as he drove into blocks with Broncos assistant coaches Brian Pariani and Phil Rauscher.

"I felt good," Miller said. "It was a little rough coming back to Colorado, because I'm still in class, taking 16 credits. I've got a full load, but it felt good. I was happy to finally be home; I haven't been home since December."

The rest of it will take time. He's a recent convert to tight end, having been a quarterback and a wide receiver at Taylor. The transition has been "easy," but comes with a lot of teaching, including what he received Wednesday.

"[Pariani] would give me tips [regarding] quick feet, or keeping your cleats in the ground -- universal stuff that you would learn all over the place," he said. "It was awesome being able to have him out here. "

But he has a backup plan if he can't play in football -- to work in it. Next month, Miller will earn his bachelor's degree in sports management.

"So hopefully I can get into a front-office-type position of a professional organization," he said. "Denver would be cool, obviously; I grew up here. But we'll see what happens."

There are plenty of sports-management graduates each spring. But there are few in any major, in any year, who have Miller's collection of physical measurables. His skills are raw, but his attributes can't be coached.

He displayed good hands and made ample use of his massive catch radius Tuesday. But in a crowded field of prospects, only time will tell if that is enough to get him the opportunity he craves.

Pro Day

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