Build through the draft, supplement through free agency.
It’s a saying that gets used quite a bit, but it holds true year after year. To that point, fortifying and building the offensive line is essential in the NFL for obvious reasons. Keeping your quarterback upright is a priority, especially when Derek Carr is your signal-caller.
Thursday night, the Oakland Raiders drafted offensive tackle Kolton Miller from UCLA to add more depth to an already-talented group. I’m sure Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable is excited to get to work with the newest member of the Silver and Black, and I’m sure Miller is excited to learn from Cable.
With that being said, let’s take a second to learn more about the former UCLA Bruin:
With the 15th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Raiders select UCLA offensive tackle Kolton Miller.
He was raised not too far from The Bay
Miller grew up in Roseville, approximately 109 miles north of Oakland. While he was raised there, he was born in Redwood City, Calif., right next to Palo Alto. Miller graduated from Roseville High School where he played both offensive tackle and defensive tackle.
Miller notes former NFL linebacker Tedy Bruschi as the athlete he admires most
Now an NFL analyst on ESPN, Tedy Bruschi had quite the career with the New England Patriots, and he made quite the impression on the newest Raider. Bruschi, a Bay Area native, started in 139 games during his 13 years in the league, totaling 12 interceptions, four touchdowns, 44 passes defensed, 17 forced fumbles, and seven fumble recoveries. Even though Miller won’t be lining up on the same side as Bruschi, having him as a role model isn’t so bad.
He set an NFL Combine record among offensive linemen in broad jump
Offensive linemen truly never get the love they deserve, and a lot of the time their athleticism goes unnoticed. That’s not the case with Miller. The 6’9” tackle had quite the performance at the combine, setting a record for broad jump among big men. Miller leapt 10’1” and demonstrated that offensive linemen can do more than block.
According his draft profile, Miller’s NFL Comparison is Nate Solder
If there’s one thing you need to know about Solder, it’s that he’s consistent. During Solder’s seven seasons in the NFL he’s played in 98 games, starting in 95 of them. Solder is responsible for doing a stellar job protecting Tom Brady in New England, and now he’ll be responsible for protecting Eli Manning in New York. If Miller can play at the level Solder’s been able to produce the last few years, he’ll be quite the addition to the Raiders offensive line.
He’s reunited with his former college teammate Eddie Vanderdoes
Miller is the second Bruin drafted by the Raiders in the last two years, last year’s selection being defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes. While speaking with members of the media on a conference call, Miller shared that Vanderdoes had just congratulated him on being drafted.
“He was super stoked,” Miller said. “To be drafted on the same team as Eddie… Him being from Placer, too, just down the road from Roseville, that’s something pretty neat.”