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Von Miller sizes up some 2012 draft prospects

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Posted April 18, 2012 @ 4:47 p.m. ET
By Eli Kaberon

They say that everything is bigger in Texas. From hats and boots to steaks and cattle, the Lone Star State has its fair share of massive products. Turns out, the saying applies to football rivalries too.

When most are asked about Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, the positives come pouring out. He's fast and intelligent, able to throw on the run with a rocket right arm. There's a reason he won a Heisman Trophy in 2011, led the Bears to a 10-3 record and is expected to be the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

The No. 2 overall pick of last year's draft thinks differently of him, however. Broncos OLB Von Miller, a member of the PFW/PFWA All-Rookie team in 2011, didn't have such a glowing review of RG3. When asked why he didn't see Griffin as favorably, Miller told PFW, "You know I can't say anything nice about somebody from Baylor."

The Texas A&M product faced Griffin twice during their respective collegiate careers. In 2008, Griffin threw for 241 yards and two TDs and ran for 74 yards in a 41-21 Baylor win; Miller had only four tackles. Two years later, Miller got revenge, recording nine tackles, a forced fumble and a sack of Griffin in a 42-30 Aggies victory. (Griffin was injured and missed the game when the schools played in 2009.) Based on those meetings, and Miller's bias based on which school he attended, the fast and physical linebacker offered a scouting report that shows how big the A&M-Baylor rivalry is.

"He can throw the ball pretty well, and he's fast. But if you hit him enough times, he's going to wear down," Miller said of Griffin. "He can run and throw, but I wouldn't put him in that same class as (Michael) Vick, Cam (Newton) or (Josh) Freeman."

Miller did ease up a bit at the end, saying, "I'm hoping he can prove me wrong."

The linebacker had much nicer things to say about a different quarterback — his former teammate, Ryan Tannehill. A wide receiver during the early part of his career with the Aggies, Tannehill moved under center in 2010, Miller's senior season at A&M. Together, they led the school to a 9-4 record, which included victories over Oklahoma, Nebraska and archrival Texas, along with Griffin's Baylor squad.

Miller believes the athleticism that Tannehill displayed playing receiver and the leadership he showed switching to quarterback will help him handle the most difficult position to play in the NFL.

"He can do everything you want from a QB," Miller said. "He can put it anywhere on the field, throw from under center or out of the gun. He throws on the run well but also showed he can make plays in the pocket.

"Tannehill is also a very mature guy. He graduated with a degree in biology before his senior year and knows how to be a great leader. Right when he came in, we started to play better as a team."

Miller also gave PFW some scouting reports on a few other prospects he either played with or against during his time in college:

  • Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon — "He's the real deal Holyfield. He can play the X, Y or Z. As a defense, you've got to always keep your eyes on him. Not only that, but he can go up and catch the ball. Runs the whole route tree, you have to double-team that guy on every play."
  • Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden — "Weeden's a fiery guy. He can put the ball where he needs to. I think his age (28) could be a good thing, because he can come right in and play. He won't be overwhelmed by the moment like some rookies are.
  • Texas A&M RB Cyrus Gray — "He's always been known for being fast," said Miller, who was Gray's teammate both in college and at DeSoto (Texas) High School — the two have known each other since eighth grade. "He can be a great third-down back in the NFL. He can do it all as both a runner and a receiver. His versatility is amazing."

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