Many believe that NFL general managers earn their paychecks based on their level of success in the later rounds of the draft by uncovering those hidden gems that can push a team over the top. With the NFL’s scouting process now concluded, many names have been brought to the forefront that weren’t exactly on the tip of anyone’s tongues when the collegiate season started. This segment called Under the Radar will continue to explore just what scouts find attractive about certain prospects that may be available beyond the glamour rounds of the draft and why you’re team may be interested in landing one of these sleepers in the upcoming draft.
As transfer from the Naval Academy, Jeromy Miles began his career at the University of Massachusetts in 2007 by instantly becoming a full time starter. His time at UMASS culminated in Miles being named as the team captain in 2009 during yet another successful campaign for the 6’2” 210 pounder. Miles is a ball hawk with tremendous instincts and the willingness to step up and help in defending the run game as well being a stout, wrap-up tackler. For his size, his pro day performance was quite impressive running a 4.45 seconds time in the 40 yard dash, producing a 10’10” broad jump, and showing his hops as well with a 35.5-inch vertical leap. Zone coverage is where Miles excels reading the eyes of the opposing quarterback and closing on the intended target quickly to breaks up passes.
Contrastingly, man coverage is an area where Miles will need to improve mightily often looking stiff in the hips with a very rigid backpedal. Although an instinctive nature is a desirable attribute in a safety, sometimes it needs to be tempered down a bit and he shows that at times over committing and getting beaten over the top on homerun plays. There will definitely be a step up competition wise for Miles moving to the NFL and he will have to understand more complex coverage schemes. Expect a learning curve for any team looking to land an immediate gem as Miles may take a year or two to fully develop. He may not be a sure thing, but with his intangibles and outstanding size/athleticism combination, Miles has steal written all over him anywhere from the 5th to the 7th round of the draft.
A number of names will be called during the upcoming NFL Draft that seem to be from out of left field, but don’t let Jeromy Miles be one of them. Keep looking out for more Under the Radar players shooting up draft boards or quietly lurking in this incredibly deep 2010 class with the potential to make a huge impact over the coming years on Sundays.
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