Who are some of the most comparable players to Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller as a rookie?
After going through the rookie season of Roquan Smith, it started to become clear that his rookie season was on the same trajectory as some of the best former top ten picks at linebacker. So, how does second-round pick Anthony Miller look?
Of course, Miller did not have a season that was all roses; injuries were a key component of his rookie year. Still, those were factors in other rookies season as well. Who are some of the best rookies that saw a similar season to Anthony Miller?
Anthony Miller was the 51st pick in the NFL draft. These five players not only had a similar statistical year to Miller, but they were also drafted at a similar spot.
Deion Branch was selected 56th overall, Davante Adams 53rd, Aaron Dobson 59th, Bobby Engram 52nd, and Peerless Price 53rd. Below. you can see how Miller stacks up to these peers.
With these names, you can start to paint a picture of what type of career Miller can have. Most of these players come in at a similar size, with Engram, Price, and Branch being very similar in size and play style.
You can also see a variety of outcomes from the ascension of Adams in Green Bay to the bust of Dobson in New England. However, as mentioned with similar playing style Price, Branch and Engram present interesting outcomes as well. Price was a complementary receiver who bounced around the NFL, Branch was a safety valve for Tom Brady who left and went back to New England to see his best football while Bears fans will remember two 900 yard receiving years for Bobby Engram in Chicago before a couple of strong seasons in Seattle.
Older Rookie Season
One of the notes that were tied to Miller coming out of the draft was that he was a bit older as a prospect. For instance, Miller played his rookie season at age 24, while D.J. Moore was only 21 years old last season. The argument is made that being physically more mature than his competition in college would help him produce and that he needs to be ready to step in as a rookie, because his next contract may take him past age 30.
This obviously does not mean that because he did not set the world on fire that the NFL will catch up to him. In fact, Roddy White, Kenny Golladay, Malcolm Mitchell, Tavon Austin, and even Bobby Engram played their rookie season at 24. Here are their rookie season stats.
Like Adams, White presents the upside of what an older rookie in round two with a similar rookie season can become. Of course, Tavon Austin and Malcolm Mitchell present an Aaron Dobson floor, although Mitchell ended his career early due to injuries.
Kenny Golladay took a year before a massive breakout, and we now see Bobby Engram with similar age, draft slot, team drafted, and size to Miller.
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So, with Bobby Engram clearly being his best historical comparison, let’s see how Miller will compare to his peers. Six wide receivers were taken ahead of Miller. How. did the top five receivers in the draft look in their rookie season in comparison to Miller?
Miller had more receptions than Dante Pettis, but Pettis had more yards on a better average. Miller had slightly more touchdowns than every player except Ridley, though. Still, it is fair to say that after one season Miller went about where he should have.
Year Two Expectations
If he is going to take the Bobby Engram route, it will be year three when Miller breaks out. However, it is clear that based on his rookie season it is too tough to judge. While Engram is a great comparison, the upside of Roddy White and Davante Adams is still in his range of outcomes, as is Aaron Dobson and Tavon Austin.
After injuries slowed him down in year one, the only thing for sure is that we will get a much bigger picture in a healthy year two.