Breakout Candidate: Why The Dolphins’ Lamar Miller Could End The Season As A RB1

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

When we hear coaching staffs gush about one of their players, we have to take it with a bit of a grain of salt. We’ve become accustomed to hearing all of the cliches heading into the season, often with minimal results

However, what about when an opposing players sings an opponent’s praise? That has to be taken in a completely different light. According to Barry Jackson of the a Miami Herald (click here for the post):

“Gore’s mentoring of Miller has been one of the neater Dolphins-flavored stories of the summer, the four-time Pro Bowler and 49ers star taking the second-year protege under his wing. They work out together twice a day – with a group of other NFL players in the morning in North Miami Beach, and just the two of them, with a trainer, on a Davie field at night.”

Frank Gore was also quoted in the article as saying, in regards to Miller’s improvements since they began working together, “His footwork got a lot better.”

Now you start to couple that with some of the other praise that has been bestowed upon him recently and things are looking good. In a different post (click here to view) Jackson had this quote from coach Joe Philbin:

“He has good instincts as a runner. Has very, very good athletic ability. Has good speed. He can pass protect. It took him a little while to get the responsibilities down, the blitz adjustments down. At the end of the year, he was very sound in his pass protection. He has good hands, can catch the football.”

Considering there is little competition behind him (since Daniel Thomas continues to have his issues), Miller’s stock is rising. It is starting to sound like the second year pro could develop into an every down back, and the team has the additional weapons to help keep opposing defenses off balance.

They added Mike Wallace and Dustin Keller this offseason, giving Ryan Tannehill weapons to throw to. Tannehill himself showed signs last season and could take a major step forward in his second year.  While the offense is not likely to be among the elite in the league, they do have the weapons for success.

According to fantasypros.com Miller’s ADP currently sits at 39.6, meaning he’s available early in the fourth round. How often can you nab a potentially three down back at that point? He has the potential to be a similar breakout to Doug Martin a year ago, meaning he is a must target player at that point in the draft.

What are your thoughts on Miller? Do you think he emerges as a top running back in 2013? Why or why not?

Make sure to check out all of our 2013 preseason rankings:

Post Hype Sleeper: Can Mark Ingram Finally Breakout In 2013?
Sleeper Spotlight: Why Mohamed Sanu May Make An Impact In Cincinnati

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