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Aubrey Miller Dolphins

Why Aubrey Miller Jr. Can Make Dolphins Roster As UDFA

  • Justin Melo
  • May 31, 2023
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Former Jackson State linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. was one of the more underrated small-school defenders in the 2023 NFL Draft. Miller Jr. signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent at the conclusion of the draft and is a prime candidate to defy the odds by making Miami’s 53-man roster.

Miller Jr. was expected to be drafted in the fifth or sixth round. Dolphins general manager Chris Grier pounced on Miller Jr.’s availability by signing him to a three-year contract worth $2.7 million. Miller Jr.’s multi-year deal with the Dolphins includes $110,000 in fully guaranteed money, according to multiple reports. Miami’s financial commitment to Miller Jr. increases his chances of making the team. 

Miller Jr. was a 4-star recruit that began his college career at Missouri before transferring to Jackson State in 2020. Miller Jr. immediately became a staple of the Deion Sanders-led Tigers. Miller Jr. was named first-team All-SWAC in 2021 and captured SWAC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2022. Jackson State proved to be the perfect fit for his untapped potential.

Miller Jr. plays the game with a rare physical temperament. A rocked-up defender, Miller Jr. is a tone-setter who squares up and seeks to punish opposing ball-carriers. He is an outstanding tackler near the line of scrimmage and thrives as a downhill blitzer who also poses issues for opposing offenses as a sideline-to-sideline athlete. He’s capable of covering every blade of grass. New Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will utilize Miller Jr. appropriately.

Miller Jr.’s background in the SEC combined with an illustrious career at Jackson State helped earn him an invite to this year’s Senior Bowl. Miller Jr. was outstanding in Mobile, proving that he belonged among big-school prospects. Miller Jr. was flying all over the field with his signature approach. His explosive hitting power was routinely on display.

Miller Jr. didn’t test at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he did go through drills at his Pro Day. The majority of Miller Jr.’s results were disappointing and potentially contributed to his undrafted status, but the former Jackson State standout put forth some quality numbers in crucial areas. Miller Jr. had an outstanding 35.5-inch vertical. Sheer strength was on display via 23 bench press reps. He also ran an acceptable 4.70 in the 40-yard dash. 

Special teams is often the quickest pathway for an undrafted rookie to endear himself to an NFL coaching staff. Miller Jr. possesses the profile of an excellent gunner. His red-hot motor and overall sense of urgency should quickly make him one of Miami’s most important special teams defenders. Miller Jr. has the upside of a future special teams captain.

Miller Jr. was one of the most electric defenders throughout the 2022 college football season. All 32 franchises made an error in judgment by passing on his services. The Dolphins were wise to aggressively pursue his signature. Miller Jr. will compete for a final-roster spot throughout training camp and the preseason.

Written By

Justin Melo