If the Chicago Bears need a sleeper pass rusher they should look to Christian Miller from Alabama
Lost in the rightful hype of Quinnen Williams is that Christian Miller had an excellent 2018 season next to him. Miller broke out for 8 sacks, with three more tackles going for loss in 2018. Still, despite the big school pedigree and production last year many sites have him in play for the Chicago Bears, not only at pick 87 but potentially later.
Why is Christian Miller falling down draft boards and could the Chicago Bears give him a chance in the middle rounds?
It does not take long digging into the backstory of Miller to understand why he is not an elite level prospect. Miller had to deal with a variety of injuries throughout his career, and while 2018 was a career-high in stats, it also was a career high in snaps at 471.
To put that into perspective Chase Winovich played 639 snaps last season, and finished his career playing 1665 snaps, Miller played 676 career snaps.
Miller redshirted as a freshman and suffered a season-ending injury in 2015. He rotated in minimally in 2016 and suffered another season-ending injury in 2017 after just 87 snaps. While Miller played a career-high in snaps last season, it was still in a rotational role, and he still was banged up along the way.
While he went to the combine and participated in some events, he did not put a full athletic profile together.
Taking a chance on Miller is taking a chance on a player who may rarely see an NFL field.
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Why take a chance on Christian Miller?
While Miller was not on the field much, when he was on the field he was insanely productive. On a snap-per-snap basis, Miller rated sixth in pass rush efficiency. Plus, look at that arm length. At his peaks, this is an elite level player. This is a high-level recruit to Alabama who rated first in the state of South Carolina, third at his position and 40th nationally as a high school recruit.
The Chicago Bears could be looking at a high-end recruit from Alabama who was productive against SEC competition in the third round. Even with the injury caveat, it sounds enticing.
Miller has been best in a rotational role, which is right where he would fit in behind Leonard Floyd and Khalil Mack. If he stays healthy, he could possibly step in for more snaps, but at the very least he provides timely sparks in his role.
Plus, remember when Eddie Jackson fell in the draft due to injury?
The Chicago Bears have the roster where they can take a chance on a player such as Christian Miller when others cannot. While they have passed on injury prone players of their own, if they do pass off on Miller medically, he would be a great fit in round three.