The Buccaneers used their third-round pick (No. 81 overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft to select Texas defensive tackle Roy Miller on Sunday.
“I’m excited. Definitely very excited to be a part of that organization,” Miller said. “They’ve had some great players come through there – some great defensive players. Going into this whole thing, I interviewed with them at the Shrine Bowl and I didn’t come in for a visit, so I didn’t really have any idea that they would pick me.”
The 6-foot-1, 310-pound Miller adds a big body and exceptional run-stuffing ability to Tampa Bay’s defensive line under new defensive coordinator Jim Bates. But Miller doesn't necessarily agree with the run-stuffing label he's been given by some scouts.
“Last year, I had [5.5] sacks and 30 quarterback hits,” Miller said. “I am definitely a run stopper, but I think I get after the pass pretty well, too. I take pride in doing both well. I want to be able to show that.”
The defensive tackles in Bates’ scheme are required to take up room and take on blocks to free up the defensive ends, and Miller, who played as light as 290 pounds and as heavy as 315 pounds, has the attributes to do that.
Miller, 21, displays impressive upper-body strength. He did 36 reps of 225 pounds at the combine and has a bench press of 500 pounds. Miller ran a 4.80 time in the 40-yard dash at his pro day workout, squatted 625 pounds and power cleaned 365 pounds.
In addition to some pundits labeling him a run stuffer, Miller was also knocked for his arm length (33 inches), or lack thereof.
“You read [the scouting reports] and definitely it pisses you off," said Miller. "Everybody has an opinion. I take a lot of pride. I’m honored to be a Buc, but I feel there were a lot of guys that went ahead of me that shouldn’t have. Those kinds of things I feed off when I play. It is what is.”
He joins a stable of defensive tackles that includes Ryan Sims, Chris Hovan, Dre Moore, Greg Peterson and Chris Bradwell.
Miller started 19 of the 49 games he played in for Texas. He recorded 138 tackles, 10 sacks, 44 pressures, six passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery during his four-year collegiate career.
As a senior, Miller earned first-team All-Big 12 honors by notching 49 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss. He also was named the defensive MVP of the Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State.
Seven defensive tackles were selected in the 2009 NFL Draft before the Bucs took Miller in the third round on Sunday. Miller is looking forward to proving his critics wrong as a Buccaneer.
“To me, I feel like I’m the best defensive tackle in the draft,” said Miller. “Watching everybody come off the board, [is motivation], I knew a couple of guys were going to go based on the hype that they got, but I yeah I watched. Like I said before those kinds of things push me. I’ll feed off of them.”