Pro Football Focus recently tweeted that Buffalo Bills’ guard John Miller was the most improved second-year guard last season.
In 2015, the Buffalo Bills drafted a John Miller in the third round and had high hopes from the beginning. Starting 12 games his rookie season, things didn’t exactly go as planned as he battled injuries, the death of his mother and sloppy play.
That wasn’t going to stop Miller, though. After his rookie season, he immediately went back to work and vowed to improve his game. The result that time around went exactly as planned and even earned some recognition from Pro Football Focus (PFF).
PFF recently tweeted that John Miller, along with Patriots’ guard Shaq Mason, were the two second-year guards that saw the most improvement this season. They also outlined just how much of an improvement they saw:
In 2016, John Miller started all 16 games for the Buffalo Bills and proved to be a reliable starter on the line. He played 1,047 snaps on offense and only allowed 4 sacks all season long. He also gets bragging rights for helping lead the way for the No. 1 rushing attack in the NFL.
Miller’s 77.8 grade given to him by PFF was good for 29th in the league among guards and brought a balance of pass blocking and run blocking — 76.2 pass-block grade and 80.1 run-block grade. Those numbers are courtesy of Ryan Talbot.
With another offseason to improve his game, who knows what the future holds for John Miller. If last season showed us anything, it’s that Miller is ready to become something in this league. Drafted as a third-rounder, he sure is giving fans faith in Doug Whaley’s drafting ability.
Coming out of Louisville, the 6’2″, 320-pound guard had experience on both the left and right side of the line. With 47 starts in his college career, his experience was a plus. He was highly scouted for his strength and powerful hands that help establish position with his blocks. His footwork needed some tuning and had spotty pass protection, but the foundation was there.
Before the draft, NFL.com said the following of Miller:
"Miller isn’t the most nimble athlete at the guard position and he will be limited by scheme fit, but the pure power in his upper body and his hands have scouts excited and there is a belief that he will be better as a pro than he was in college."
His recognition from Pro Football Focus is well deserved and something to be proud of. It could also be a way of apologizing for leaving LeSean McCoy off their 2016 Top-101 Players list, but I’m sure that has nothing to do with it.
No matter how ridiculous the McCoy snub was, at least PFF got this one right.
Experience is key in the NFL and when a player is given the kind of opportunities given to Miller this early in his career, it’s important to make the most of it. John Miller has done exactly that and has learned from his mistakes along the way, which is eye opening to any coach. He is well on his way to molding himself as a top guard in this league.