The Bills used their third round selection to address their offensive line as the team added Louisville guard John Miller. A consistent interior force, the 21-year old played 48 games throughout his collegiate career, and started 47 of those at left guard. As the third round went by, Buffalo held their breath that Miller would last to pick #81.
"We set the board strictly on talent," said Bills general manager Doug Whaley. "If everything is equal we will go with a need and it just happened this year, the corner (Darby) we didn't see as a perceived need as much as the other people, we looked at it more as depth. Once you get down to the third, we were actually looking up and Mr. Miller and we had our fingers crossed that he would slide to us. We're excited and to have a need and to have a good player that you have at the top of the board is a double bonus."
Although he has a plethora of experience under his belt, it is uncertain as to whether or not Miller will start from day one.
"We will find out," said Whaley. "We think he, I mean mentally, we had him on a visit, he's sharp that way. From talking with Rex (Ryan), we're going to throw those guys in there and get them reps with the second team, the first team, and just see what combination works best for us to get out there and produce."
Although a bit undersized at 6-2 ½ , Doug Whaley describes Miller as a "mauler who brings attitude". As offensive coordinator Greg Roman installs a power-run scheme, Miller figures as an ideal fit. Draft analysts concur that Miller's strengths lie in his run-blocking ability.
"I take a lot of pride in it because I think if you run the ball, it opens up the passing game," said Miller. "Just being able to move a guy from point A to point B is what I learned to do and I definitely like to play physical in the run game."
As he went through the pre-draft process, Miller established a respectable relationship with the Bills staff. After an official visit in Buffalo, the former Cardinal had a feeling that he found his future home.
"Everything went well," said Miller. "I thought the Buffalo area was pretty nice, I liked the area. I got a chance to meet with coach Ryan and he just told me, 'if we pick you, we expect you to come in and compete for the starting position.' He just told me to have fun with it. I think all the coaches are pretty cool and they're all great guys."
Another reason for Miller's excitement is his opportunity to play with fellow Louisville alum Eric Wood. A Buffalo fan favorite and team captain, Wood anchored Louisville's offensive line before he was drafted by Buffalo in 2009. Miller will now have the opportunity to learn from an established pro with similar roots.
"It's awesome," said Miller. "I got a chance to work out with Eric Wood at Louisville actually so it's a great opportunity. I know the Eric Wood is a great pro, so I look forward to picking his brain and learning from him as we go along.
"For me its a dream come true just being drafted into the NFL, but being able to come in and compete for a starting position with the Buffalo Bills is great." That's exactly what I wanted to do is come in, to come in and compete for a starting position and make an impact.