Braxton Miller has only been with the Cleveland Browns for just over a week, but he is surprisingly in a position to potentially make the roster.
The Cleveland Browns entered training camp with a lot of talent on the wide receiver depth chart. Whether it be veterans or young, undrafted rookies, there was a lot of competition at the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart.
But over the past couple of weeks, there has been a lot of movement in the wide receiver room. Antonio Callaway was suspended for four games. Undrafted rookie D.J. Montgomery was placed on the injured reserve. The Browns then signed Braxton Miller on August 21. And Jaelen Strong, who was having a good training camp and preseason, was waived on August 27.
The movement with the wide receivers has created more chances for other wide receivers to make the team. And even though Miller signed with the Browns late in the preseason, he appears to be in a good position to make the team.
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Miller played in the third preseason game for the Browns, catching two passes for 11 yards. He played only 12 snaps for the Browns as he was still new to the offense and the team did not want to rush him into packages he is not comfortable with. Head coach Freddie Kitchens said on Tuesday Miller is picking up the offense, which could put him in position to make plays against the Lions.
With the amount of competition at the wide receiver position, it seemed like Miller had an uphill battle to make the roster when he signed because he had not been able to show much during the preseason. But in the week he has been with the Browns, he must have shown something that the team has been looking for in the offense if the belief is he will make the team.
The Browns could be planning on using Miller in a versatile role, which could include running the ball, even though he will spend most of his time at receiver. However, despite being able to play this role in college, he has rarely done it in the pros. But if Miller remains on the roster, it would make sense if they plan on using him in a multi-facet role, especially after their decision to waive Strong.
Because of how well Strong was playing solely as a receiver, it would be hard to understand the Browns keeping Miller over Strong if they plan on using Miller only as a receiver. The justification for Strong being cut was he was not providing anything on the field outside of his role as a receiver. So with Strong’s good preseason, it wouldn’t make sense to keep Miller instead if he is not playing other roles besides being a receiver.
The Browns could decide to use Miller as a returner on special teams on top of playing of receiver, which could be why he could snag one of the last wide receiver jobs. Despite not having much experience returning, Cleveland’s coaching staff may feel like he could make plays returning the football.
It remains to be seen how the Browns plan on using Miller, but the team’s final preseason game will give a good idea on their potential plan with Miller. But there is a good chance they have an idea to use Miller in creative ways if he makes the 53-man roster with limited time being with the Browns.
If Miller does in fact make the team’s 53-man roster, it would be one of the more surprising decisions. But with how the wide receiver competition has changed over the past two weeks, Miller is in a position to make the team.