When the Raiders selected UCLA tackle Kolton Miller in the draft this year, many fans were puzzled and/or unsupportive of the pick. It seemed like a reach in a draft long on defensive talent but short on tackles. One of the best pass rushers in the NFL, however, is sold on Miller as the Raiders’ future at left tackle. Broncos OLB Von Miller gave his thoughts on Kolton Miller on Wednesday.
“77, he’s a beast. He’s the best tackle in this year’s draft. I’ve always said that the Raiders have the best offensive line in football. They made it a whole lot better with the Miller pick,” said Miller.
The ‘best tackle in the draft’ label is a low bar to set, considering the quality of this year’s OL crop. The player that Oakland had originally wanted to draft, Mike McGlinchey, was taken by the 49ers and had a rough day against the Vikings, abused by their outside rush. Kolton Miller, though, held up well. He had one holding penalty and only allowed two hurries in the game. Even though the Rams are not known for their outside rush, one could scarcely ask for a better game from Miller than he had on Monday night.
Clearly, Von Miller is as much of a draft nerd as all of us, sitting in his dark basement wearing Mel Kiper glasses and watching endless hours of tape, and has been high on Kolton Miller all along. Did we all miss seeing what he saw, the true greatness of Kolton Miller?
Or, it’s entirely possible that Von Miller is blowing smoke here, just trying to instill a false sense of confidence in the rookie tackle before doing his best on Sunday to make the Raiders regret picking him. Even so, a quality effort against the Broncos pass rush would open a lot of eyes around the league about how good Kolton Miller really is. If the Raiders are to steal a game in Mile High, Kolton Miller and the rest of the Raiders’ offensive line will have to be on top of their games.