With the wide array of NFL Draft commitments quickly strengthening, a very unsuspecting candidate declared for the 2015 NFL Draft- Patrick Miller. The Auburn Tigers offensive lineman was never a full-time starter for the program, but started 19 games over three seasons. Miller’s time as a Tiger was marred by suspension, injuries and inconsistent play, ultimately leading to his benching in favor of freshman Braden Smith for the team’s Outback Bowl.
“Pat Miller has decided to make himself eligible for the NFL draft and pursue his goals to become an NFL player,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement, via the Ledger-Enquirer. “I want to thank Pat for his contributions to the Auburn football program during his three years. I’m excited for Pat and wish him the best.”
Every year, a group of college players make the inexplicable decision to enter the NFL Draft. While many of the best NFL analysts view this choice as poor, it occasionally pays off for players, but others never make an NFL roster. Miller is currently in that same boat and only time will tell if his talent will be able to overcome his off the field problems and allow him to succeed at the highest level. The former four-star recruit was always recognized as a top talent, but the NFL is the cream of the crop and talent alone won’t cut it for Miller.
Auburn finished the 2014 season in surprising manner, falling to the Wisconsin Badgers 34-31 in the Outback Bowl. The ultra talented Tigers never settle for less than the best under head coach Gus Malzahn and expect them to rebound in 2015. In the tough SEC, it’s extremely important that Malzahn is able to dominate the line of scrimmage and that begins with replacing guys like Patrick Miller.
*Section Photo credit to Wesley Hitt, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Julie Bennett, AL.com