Raiders

Raiders 2020 Rewind: LT Kolton Miller Flew Under The Radar

Offensive tackle Kolton Miller continues to be overlooked but he did a remarkable job for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Miller’s selection continues to spark debate to this day. Many will argue that safety Derwin James should’ve been the pick but ’74’ has shown he was worth the investment. In 2020, the UCLA standout was responsible for keeping quarterback Derek Carr largely upright and will continue to do so beyond this previous season.

Miller helped power the Raiders to a 6-3 start but they couldn’t maintain momentum in the season’s second half. Unfortunately, inept defensive planning and execution hindered the Silver Black, leading to another late-season collapse. Looking back though, Miller did what he could in 2020, excelling as the Raiders’ left tackle, let’s take a brief look back.

Related: Will Las Vegas DC Gus Bradley Finally Move Lamarcus Joyner To Safety?

Raiders: Miller Continues To Improve His Pass Blocking

Last year, Carr took a total of 26 sacks, down from 29 in 2019 per Pro Football Reference. As far as Miller’s hand in that, Pro Football Focus states that he allowed two of those. This is not terrible and PFF overall pointed out that Miller’s pass blocking has improved by leaps and bounds since his rookie campaign. Categorically each year Miller’s grade in that department since 2018 has been 52.7, 68.4, and 81.3, respectively. Miller’s run blocking, on the other hand, is something worth discussing.

Grading Miller’s run blocking isn’t absolute

PFF grades can sometimes be questionable when it comes to offensive lines, and that’s fine. In Miller’s case, there’s definitely a debate to be had. These last two years, he has graded at 55.6 and 55.4 in run blocking. Consequently, there’s a knock on him for this, however, this isn’t an absolute. Josh Jacobs ran for more than 1,000 yards in back-to-back years. Clearly, the grades don’t tell the whole story.

The thing about run-blocking is that it doesn’t show up on stat sheets, but as you can see above, Miller’s highly underrated in that department. In just one of many examples, Miller’s responsible for opening up holes for Jacobs, below is another impressive illustration.

Miller obliterates the defender in the play above, clearing the way for Jacobs to score near the goal line. Moving forward, the Raiders can rest easy knowing that left tackle is being held down, assuming he gets locked down long-term contractually.

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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Isaac Brekken

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Biglar

Jacobs got to 1K the hard way, with only a 3.9 average per carry, which was the lowest among backs with over 700 yards. So the Raiders were not a good rushing team. Miller is what he is – a good pass blocking, mediocre run blocking tackle. This might not matter so much had Incognito not gone down, as he could pick up some of the slack there. But Simpson and the other reserves were not playing well so the Raiders running attack really suffered. That said, Miller is a quality tackle and is going to make a bundle in… Read more »