Anthony Miller heading into make-or-break year
Anthony Miller is now coming into his third year in the NFL. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round (51st overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. While I think he has shown some promise, I think it’s also fair to say that he has been somewhat of a disappointment.
Miller had a pretty good rookie campaign with 33 catches on 54 targets, 423 yards and seven touchdowns. Pretty solid numbers overall by a rookie receiver. In his second year, I think you can say he took a good step forward. He had 52 receptions on 85 targets for 656 yards but only two touchdowns. Also while he did get more yards overall his average yards per catch was slightly lower at 12.6 instead of 12.8.
While on paper his numbers do seem to be pretty decent. The Chicago Bears did trade up to get him in the draft which shows that they have high expectations for him. It would take a big year for Miller to jump Allen Robinson on the depth chart this year, but with the departure of Taylor Gabriel, he will be the clear cut number two receiver coming into the 2020 season.
Miller has two more years left on his rookie deal and will then become an unrestricted free agent in 2022. I think what he does in 2020 will greatly impact if the Chicago Bears choose to offer him a second contract.
At this point, his stats have shown progression both years in the league, but I feel if they stagnate Chicago may look to bring in other options. Miller may be able to play himself into a big contract if he shows more progress these next two years. If he can get close to 1,000 yards this year, and then possibly hit that milestone next year, he may very well be out of the Bears price range.
I feel that Miller’s production on the field is going to depend on the quarterback as well. I vehemently feel that, while he isn’t a long term answer Nick Foles puts the Bears and Anthony Miller in the best position to succeed. I personally am expecting Miller to take a strong step forward with Foles at the helm.
I think coach Matt Nagy is going to open up the playbook a lot more too. This, in turn, should give Anthony Miller more chances than just screens and short passes. While I must admit I am not as high on Miller as a lot of people who cover the Bears are, I think he’s going to continue to improve with better quarterback play.