Zach Miller is excited coming into Oakland, especially since he should be the top tight end on the…
Draft Pick Validates Miller's Decision
The Raiders were planning to pick Miller three spots later, at number 33rd, but then decided to swap places with the Arizona Cardinals, and drop 38th. "They knew that none of the teams between 33 and 37 were gonna pick a tight end, so they traded down to get an extra pick," Miller explained. "It's nice to know that they thought so highly of me." Miller admitted that he started getting nervous towards the end of the first round, and carried into the second round prior to his eventual selection.
Many times a player gets blindsided in the draft, when he is picked by a team that barely kept in contact with him compared to his other suitors. In Miller's case, one can argue that early on it was very easy to detect the interest of the silver and black in the ex-Sun Devil standout. "The Raiders did have a few people on pro day, and I knew for a long time that they were one team that could pick me," Miller commented. "I could tell when I talked to Coach Kiffin in the NFL combine how interested they were in me."
Miller will reunite with his old college quarterback Andrew Walter, who was drafted by the Raiders in the 2005 draft. Nonetheless, the tight end is realistic over the chances of him catching passes from his fellow Sun Devil on a regular basis. "It's gonna be cool to play with him, but the Raiders obviously drafted JaMarcus (Russell) with the first pick so we'll see how all that quarterback situation plays out," said Miller. "It will be nice to have someone I know on the team…I didn't have a chance to call him yet, but I plan to."
On Thursday Miller will be introduced to the Oakland media, and will participate in the team's three-day mini-camp which starts the next day. "It's great that I got to stay on the west coast," he stated. "It's not too far from home and my parents can come to see a lot of my games. I think Oakland is a great spot for me and it's a situation where I have a chance to compete for a starting spot and contribute right away. I want to make an impact right off the bat, and I look forward to meeting all the players and coaches and getting to work."
Miller was a Mackey Award finalist in 2006, and in his junior year at ASU he registered 50 passes for 484 yards (9.7 avg.) and four touchdowns. He ranks sixth overall on ASU's career record list with 144 receptions, setting the school tight end mark, over a three-year career. He gained 1,512 yards (10.5 avg.) with 14 touchdowns in his ASU tenure.
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