NFP Prospect Focus: Laken Tomlinson and John Miller

I don’t usually write up prospects on request, but being that it is a holiday weekend I’m doing the request thing (just today) Laken Tomlinson – Duke Tomlinson is a big and productive four year starter for Duke. Not only has he been productive, but also very durable. He hasn’t missed a start in his career. At 6’3 – 323 (Combine) he has excellent size to go along with strength and power. His testing at the Combine was average. He ran 5.33 and his agility drill times were a bit below average. Last week at his pro day, he came in at 316 and ran 5.22 and took off better than a tenth of a second in each of the agility drills. That can only help him come draft day. As a player, he is best as a run blocker. He comes off the ball low and has some explosiveness on contact. He does a good job getting movement with his blocks and has enough athleticism in space to get to the second level. He also does a good job with combo blocks. In pass protection, he shows a good punch and keeps his hands inside. He doesn't consistently play with bend. When he gets tall, he has a tendency to overextend. He was better at the Senior Bowl in playing with bend. He also needs improvement with his recovery quickness. He can lose his man to a quick counter move. He moves better at the lower weight and if he can stay there, it will help his lateral agility. I feel Tomlinson can be an eventual starter at guard. When I say eventual, I mean he should be a starter by his second year. The team that drafts him may want to move him to center. With his girth and power, he can be a force versus the big nose tackles in the league. He has the smarts and leadership skills to be the leader of the O-Line from the center position. I expect Tomlinson to be drafted in the third to fourth round area. John Miller – Louisville Like Tomlinson, Miller has been a four year starter at Louisville. He is a big, powerful and nasty guy who knows how to play the game. I really like that he always looks to finish blocks and put his man on the ground. Miller is a bit on the short side at 6’2 but he has good girth (303). He has a thick lower body and has power through the hips. As an athlete, he is average. He ran a 5.19 and 5.34 at the Combine and his change of direction drill were average (4.87, 7.91). While he isn’t overly quick or fast, he works hard and on tape does a good job with shorter pulls and getting to the second level. He also works well with the center on combo blocks. As a drive blocker, he consistently knocks his opponent off the line. In pass protection, he is similar in that he plays well with a man over him. He has a strong punch and can move his feet well enough to mirror. His recovery quickness is average, but he does a good job staying on his feet. He is a smart, alert player who can do a good job recognizing stunts and blitzes. Miller has versatility in that he has experience at both guard and center. Given his athletic limitations, he may be best suited to play center at the next level. At the center position, I can see him being an eventual starter. At guard, I see a backup only. Coaches are going to love him because of his competitiveness and aggressiveness. He will be an interesting guy to track during his career with his strong intangibles. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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