Where Will Braxton Miller Be Drafted in 2015?
Thank God he didn't.
After seeing more "NFL ready" quarterbacks (for lack of a better term) like AJ McCarron and Aaron Murray fall all the way to the fifth round respectively, it's very possible that Miller would not have been drafted at all had he decided to enter it.
Now that he's wisely elected to play out his senior season at Ohio State, Miller will have a great opportunity to improve his draft stock and show scouts that he's capable of being a quality quarterback at the next level.
Projecting where Miller could potentially go in next year's draft is very difficult, however, because so much is riding on how he performs this upcoming season.
For Miller to even get a shot as a quarterback on an NFL roster, he must show progression as a passer with more consistency in his accuracy and his mechanics.
If Miller can put up Heisman-worthy numbers and lead the Buckeyes to national championship contention yet again, I think we could see him drafted as high as the second or third round in the 2015 draft.
But if he fails to show improvement with his mechanics, continues to throw with inconsistent accuracy, and plays poorly in a few Ohio State losses, it's very possible that Miller slips all the way to the sixth or seventh round where an NFL team might attempt to transition him to a wide receiver/kick return role.
Realistically, I think Braxton will end up somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios.
In each of his three seasons at Ohio State, Miller has increased his completions, completion percentage, yards, yards per attempt, touchdowns, and QB rating. I have no reason to think he can't do that again during his senior season.
That being said, I think it would be foolish to expect Miller to turn himself into an elite pocket passer with mechanics that make Ron Jaworski salivate.
By arm or by leg, he's a playmaker, and even though that may not be what NFL scouts want in a franchise quarterback, it would be detrimental to himself, to his teammates, and to whatever NFL future he might have to change how he approaches the game.
It should be noted that when Miller first arrived in Columbus, I never even considered the possibility that he could one day be an NFL quarterback.
Thanks to his vast improvement from his freshman year, along with the success of non-prototypical guys like Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson in the NFL, Miller has a very real shot to be playing quarterback on Sundays, and that in itself is a tremendous accomplishment.
So ultimately, I expect Miller to fall in the third or fourth-round range. Some team will take a chance that his raw talent and athleticism will allow him to blossom into a superstar, but the risk and ultimate uncertainty that will cloud him will prevent anybody from giving him the keys to the franchise and taking him on Thursday night.
But if he can exit Columbus as a national champion, I think Buckeye fans will be just fine with that outcome.