Fans of the Florida Gators can tell you that any faults of the defense in 2022 weren’t the cause of Ventrell Miller. In fact, Miller was about the only thing holding the defense together while defensive coordinator Patrick Toney called the most basic and static zone coverages one could dream up.
Miller was just drafted by Jacksonville, and fans of the Jaguars should know they are getting a savvy linebacker whose film makes up for his lack of raw attributes.
Florida Football: Ventrell Miller
If you want veteran leadership with a high floor but a relatively low ceiling, then Miller is going to be a great fit with Jacksonville. During his time in Gainesville, Miller seemed like one of the only players that actually understood where to line up and where plays were designed to go.
For better or for worse, this comes from being 24 years old and being as old as a guy like Chase Young. Miller ultimately spent six seasons with the Gators. In his first season in 2017 he was suspended following his involvement in the credit card fraud incident that involved nine players on the team.
Once on the field, Miller became a mainstay and was a starter by 2019. In the Covid shortened 2020 season, Miller racked up 88 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss. He was poised for a big 2021 season, but had it end early due to injury.
Taking advantage of the bonus season college players were granted due to Covid, Miller accumulated 74 tackles with 8.5 for a loss in 2022.
But the real value of Miller could be seen when he was hurt during the Kentucky game. The following week the Gators played USF and Miller had to sit out. Florida looked completely lost and was gashed up the middle by a Bulls offense that couldn’t gash anyone all season long.
It’s to that point that Miller is a better run-stopper than he is in pass coverage. Beyond the injury issues, the knock against Miller when it comes to being an NFL linebacker is that his pure athletic attributes don’t stack compared to others. He didn’t participate in the Combine or Florida’s Pro Day due to injury, so there aren’t data points on his actual speed, but it wasn’t something he was noted for in college.
So he is going to struggle with recovery speed if he doesn’t get his first step to the ball correct, but part of why Miller should hang around with Jacksonville is that more times than not he gets his first step correct.