2022 Official OL Highlights - Part 2
Studying and chronicling the 2022 season for various offensive linemen across the NFL
Over the last couple of weeks I have continued one of my off-season projects over the last several years: creating highlight tapes for various offensive and defensive linemen across the NFL. I first came across this idea from a close friend and have since put together several dozen of them.
The idea and goal behind these are to study every snap of the player from their previous season while recording every positive or ‘standout’ rep in the process. I usually get through one game every 45 minutes or so before moving on to the next. After every four or five games, I stop recording to edit everything I have up until that point until the entire season is complete. My final edit adds a spotlight on the player prior to each rep and adds slow-motion to some of the more nuanced blocks to help the viewer recognize and appreciate the technique or execution on display for a given play.
The end result is a video ranging anywhere from 6-15 minutes long depending on the amount of games played for the individual player. The highlight tape encapsulates everything that the player does at a high level, showing where they win and painting a picture of their overall skill-set.
While putting these tapes together over the next few months, I am also cutting up film of specific pass-rushers to get a head start on my film work for the upcoming OL Masterminds event that takes place every July near The Star in Frisco, Texas. There I am tasked with building advanced scouting reports and video profiles of the NFL’s top pass-rushers. I am also working on putting together ‘teach tape’ videos on the most commonly used techniques among offensive linemen, with an emphasis on those in attendance at the summit. These work together to serve as a jumping off point for group discussions on how rushers win and some of the best practices to utilize against them. More coming on this soon!
Official 2022 Highlights - Kolton Miller, Abraham Lucas & Spencer Burford
Raiders LT Kolton Miller
Miller is set to enter his sixth season in 2023 with 80 total career starts under his belt. Miller was drafted 15th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft in what was perceived as a significant reach at the time by many pundits, including me. Miller was a ‘toolsy’ prospect coming out of UCLA with mediocre film consisting of inconsistent technique and only flashes of brilliance.
Miller continued to be an inconsistent player during his rookie season before making a jump in his second year. Most people acknowledge the impact of then O-line coach Tom Cable on Miller’s technical develop, but it also should be mentioned how much playing alongside an All-Pro caliber guard in Richie Incognito during the 2019 season bolstered his game.
The 2019 season served as a catalyst for Miller to bridge the gap between his high-end physical tools and shaky technique, resulting in him developing into a solid to above average starter.
Miller still struggles to drop anchor on speed-to-power rushes, partly due to his 6’8”+ frame, and he will get edged by slippery speed-rushers that can string together moves. However, there are clear foundational strengths to his game.
One of Miller’s primary strengths is how well he sees and handles line games and stunts, attacking the ‘penetrator’ on tackle-end (T-E) stunts to thwart penetration.
Miller’s best attributes are in the run game where he works well in unison with his left guard on double-teams and combo blocks. He has above average play strength to generate displacement and strains through contact with very good physicality and effort to finish blocks. He can also lead in space and track down and take out defensive backs on tosses, sweeps and pitches.
Some of my favorite things to watch from Miller going back to his time with Incognito in 2019 are Deuce (frontside double-teams on power/counter) and down blocks.
Moving forward, we should expect to see Miller maintain his status as a solid to above average blindside protector. There are a few key areas of his game that he could clean up, such as using more independent, well-timed strikes in pass-protection and improving his contact balance and leverage when anchoring. His durability adds to his value as an overall asset (three missed games in five seasons), which is a critical factor in football as a whole, but especially in the trenches where attrition really takes its toll.
Kolton Miller’s Official 2022 Highlights:
Seahawks RT Abraham Lucas
Lucas is coming off a 16-start rookie season in 2022 where he was arguably the best rookie offensive linemen in the NFL. Lucas started on a tear over the first half of the season with a dominant Week 1 performance against the Broncos and a signature performance against the 49ers and Nick Bosa in Week 2. Over the second half of the season, some of Lucas’ concerns as a prospect began to become more pronounced. Overall, he put together a strong season, especially considering he was selected in the third round.
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