From Arlington, Texas, to Alameda, Calif., Kolton Miller’s last 24 hours have been a whirlwind.
The Roseville, Calif., native grew up not too far from Oakland, but now the No. 15 overall pick will be spending a lot more time in the Bay. Thursday, the former UCLA Bruin was drafted, and less than 24 hours later he had his first press conference as a member of the Silver and Black. Miller was joined by Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Reggie McKenzie, and fielded questions from local reporters.
Here are the quick hits from his press conference:
Miller broke down what he’s been up to since the college football season ended.
Photos of Raiders first-round pick Kolton Miller arriving at Raiders HQ in Alameda, CA on Friday.
“Following the season, I trained at EXOS in Arizona. I trained there for eight weeks where they prepped me for the combine. After the combine, I did a number of team visits and was pretty busy then. I had about a week break before the NFL Draft. Last night was a very long night, to say the least. It was an awesome experience, especially being surrounded by your family and friends, people that have helped you along the way. I felt really blessed to be in that spot.”
He expressed his joy to be playing not too far from his hometown.
“It’s really great. It’s only a short drive away. That was sort of a hometown team, a lot of great fans. It’s also great to be playing with Eddie Vanderdoes, who was just down the street from Roseville at Placer. He’s also a UCLA guy, of course. That’s pretty neat.”
Gruden shared what stood out to him about Miller during the evaluation process.
“Reggie and I really have a lot of respect for this man’s athleticism, number one. He can pass protect. You can use him a lot of different ways. He can pull, he can redirect. He’s got a huge upside at a position that’s very hard to find. In the AFC West right now, the people that you have to block, Kolton, hate to break it to you but they’re pretty good. He’s got versatility, he can play right tackle, he can play left tackle. He’s got the right stuff inside. He’s going to be a huge part of our future. He’s playing a position that, like I said, is very hard to find these days.”
Gruden also shared how it felt to be back in the draft room after 10 years in the broadcast booth.
An exclusive look at Thursday night's 2018 NFL Draft party at the Fox Theater.
“It felt good. It was great. I think Reggie did an outstanding job. I think preparing a new coaching staff with his scouting department working together with a lot of people for the first time… And at crunch time, making a trade that I think really benefitted this football team. We added an outstanding young prospect at left tackle, who can also play right tackle and I think a game-breaking wide receiver that is going to make his presence felt as well.”
Miller was honest about where he needs to improve at the next level.
“I think technique is huge. I think that’s what really separates guys, especially since guys are so fundamental in their techniques playing eight, 10 years. That’s something I’ll definitely work on. Then, I’m always improving my strength. I’m just going to take as much as I can from the older guys and coach [Tom] Cable and really get better.”