OT Kolton Miller, #77
R-Jr., 6’8″, 310 lbs.
It can be argued that Kolton Miller has already broken out. Before breaking his ankle against Arizona last season, Miller was part of an offensive line that allowed just 10 sacks on Rosen in five games. Although that seems like a lot, five of those came in the first week against Texas A&M. The eventual first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Myles Garrett, was spearheading the sack campaign in that game.
After Miller’s injury, Rosen was injured on a sack the following week against Arizona State. Although he returned in the second half, another hard hit injured his shoulder, ending Rosen’s season. This would not be the end of UCLA’s offensive line problems. Without Miller, the line allowed 14 sacks the rest of the year.
Cleary Miller has an impact when he is on the field, Standing at 6’8” and 310 lbs., he makes an immovable wall for defensive lineman to have to get around. Aside from his size, he is also quick off the snap, and has the vision and patience to make the correct blocks on pass plays. On run plays, he is aggressive to the defensive lineman he is blocking, helping to spring the running back free faster.
However, it is hard to say he has broken out yet, as he has played a total of 10 games in two seasons. Such a small sample size can’t be relied on to fully evaluate if a player is consistently successful, or a flash in the pan.
Miller is also in the middle of a position change, moving from right to left tackle. This means he will be entrusted in protecting Rosen’s blindside. With Rosen coming off a shoulder injury, he can’t afford too many surprising and jarring hits. Time will tell if Miller is truly a difference maker on the offensive line, but he doesn’t appear worried about the added responsibilities that come with being the team’s left tackle.