Depending on who you ask — or which sports website you check — University of Memphis star WR Anthony Miller is anywhere from the 11th to 50th best player in Thursday’s NFL Draft. He sparkled at the Tigers’ Pro Day recently and at this point, it’s more a question of when he will be selected — not if.
But Miller isn’t taking any chances. On Wednesday, Miller made his case directly to NFL general managers in an appropriately titled “Letter to NFL GMs” that appeared on ThePlayersTribune.com.
And much like any soon-to-be college grad applying for a job, Miller opens with an eye-catching line:
“My name is Anthony Miller, and I think I’m the best wide receiver in this draft class.”
“Last season I led the nation in touchdown receptions and finished third in receiving yards. I mention that off the top because it showcases what I’ve always done on the football field: Produce.”
Indeed Miller has produced at U of M. Despite redshirtting as a freshman in 2013 and being sidelined with a shoulder injury for the 2014 season, once the Memphis native got his shot, he hasn’t looked back.
Last season, his final one as a Tiger, Miller racked up 1,462 yards as a receiver and scored 18 touchdowns. And a number of those were “how-did-he-catch-that?” type receptions.
But in his letter, Miller quickly skips over the numbers to get to what he really believes he would bring to a pro team: an ability to make plays.
In fact, Miller used a clip of his one-hand falling-out-of-bounds miraculous catch against USF from his junior year to demonstrate his talents.
“(In scouting prospects,) there are a million different stats and metrics you can measure, but ultimately I think the two biggest qualities you should want in a wide receiver are: Can he get open? Can he make a play?
“For me, throughout my entire life playing this game, it’s been check and check,” he wrote.
Miller acknowledges the knocks against him and his game. He’s heard them all before. He’s not tall (5’ 11”). He’s not big (201 lbs).
“I’ve scored as many touchdowns as I could and fought for every yard possible, but to some people I’ll probably never be big or strong enough.”
It’s just fuel to his competitive fire, he continued.
“I’m fine with being doubted. I love it actually. That’s part of what’s fueled me up to this point,” he said. “I’m always going to approach this game like a player with no scholarship offers. I’m going to grind the same way I did when I was a walk-on hoping for one extra practice rep.
“This draft, if you’re looking for a raw athlete that you want to mold into a football player, there are plenty of other prospects you should consider.
“But if you’re looking for someone who will join your organization with the expectation of making plays every single game, well, I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Read Miller’s full letter at theplayerstribune.com. The NFL Draft starts April 26 at 7 p.m. CT.