Kolton Miller is a California kid. He’s a Northern California kid. Grew up in Roseville which is near Sacramento. Then he attended UCLA for college. Now he’s headed back to Northern California for his NFL career. At least for the next couple seasons. And he had a very California reaction to that.
“I was super stoked about it,” Miller said of being picked at 15. “I’m so glad to be a Raider. Growing up in Sacramento, that was sort of a hometown team, so I’m super stoked and ready to go in there and compete and learn from the older guys. I know I have a lot of experience surrounding me, so I’m ready to embrace it.”
He joins another Sacramento area native and UCLA grad, Eddie Vanderdoes, who the Raiders selected in the third round last year. Vanderdoes shared Miller’s feelings about another reunion with Miller.
“He’s super stoked,” Miller said of Eddie Vanderdoes, who contacted him shortly after his selection. “To be drafted on the same team as Eddie. Him being from Placer just down the road from Roseville, that’s something pretty neat.”
Miller will be blocking his former UCLA teammate at times in practice, though most of the time Vanderdoes will be guarded inside while Miller is outside.
Immediately, Miller figures to be the team’s starting right tackle. In the long term, he is pegged for left tackle, where the 35-year-old Donald Penn currently resides. Miller has played both sides, but earned his draft status by his work at left tackle last season.
“I played both right and left by redshirt freshman year,” Miller continued. “Started right [tackle] my redshirt sophomore year and started left all of last year, so I feel more comfortable at left [tackle], but if needed to play right, I can play either or, but primarily I’d like to play left.”
Miller added that he had no idea the Raiders were interested in him. That he met with Tom Cable for 15 minutes at the combine along with 22 other teams and he never visited the Raiders facility.