Shareef Miller came to State College with a ton of upside as a high three-star prospect who picked the Nittany Lions over Rutgers.
Miller overcame a tough upbringing and unspeakable tragedy on his way to Penn State where, under the watchful eye of defensive line coach Sean Spencer, he became one of the Big Ten’s best defensive ends.
Miller redshirted in 2015 to put weight on his somewhat lanky 6-foot-4 frame.
After doing that he immediately showed promise as a redshirt freshman appearing in 14 games and making 22 tackles, 5.5 for loss and two sacks.
The next year, Miller continued to show promise and became All-Big Ten honorable mention selection as he racked up 37 stops, 11 for a loss with five sacks.
In this past season, Miller earned third team All-Big Ten honors after starting 12 games, making 41 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
What You’re Getting
Miller doesn’t have an elite first step, so I don’t envision him ever becoming a franchise pass rusher, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get after the passer.
He’s also become much better in his time in Happy Valley at setting the edge against the run. In fact, the fact that Miller can be a three-down player is what makes him most valuable.
It’s most likely that he becomes a rotational defensive lineman in the the NFL. He doesn’t have the coverage skills to play linebacker in the 3-4, so the odds are he ends up on a team who runs a 4-3 front.
Miller also still needs some seasoning and will benefit a ton from reps and coaching, despite how success Spencer has been with the Nittany Lions defensive linemen. He needs to improve his hand fighting and sharpen some of his pass rushing techniques.
On pure tools and work ethic alone, Miller has a pretty high floor for a late-round projection. I envision he’ll stick in the league for a while and should be a good addition to any locker room.
Projections for Miller currently sit anywhere from fourth to sixth round.