Saints Need to Look at Louisiana Talent in the Draft

5 of 6

…..It’s Miller Time

Jan 28, 2016; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad defensive back Harlan Miller of SE Louisiana (1) breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell of Georgia (86) during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Hammond native and former Kentwood High School star Harlan Miller is en route to becoming just the second Southeastern Louisiana player to be drafted in the past 30 years.

He could join former SLU cornerback Robert Alford, a second-round pick to the Falcons in 2013, as the only drafted Lions to represent SLU since 1984. Both have come under current SLU coach Ron Roberts, a defensive guru of sorts who has turned the Hammond-based program from cellar-dweller into perennial FCS playoff contender.

Miller tallied career 11 interceptions and FCS All-American honors, becoming the most recent SLU player to be so honored since Alford.

In 2015, Miller recorded 49 tackles (5.5 for loss), 10 passes broken up, and 4 interceptions. He held opposing quarterbacks to a 61 percent completion percentage and only gave up 276 yards on 28 catches and two touchdowns when locked man to man throughout the season.

Miller (6-0, 182 pounds) is gaining some ground within the circle much like the other aforementioned players due to his skills he showed during the Senior Bowl and in consideration to be a third to fourth round pick.

As with LSU’s Deion Jones, Miller’s size caused some rumpled brows early on due to concerns that he might not be physical enough to match up on bigger receivers.

He quickly became the talk of the town though after people such as Bleacher Report’s scout Matt Miller said he was impressed by the way Miller attacked the ball and called the corner “feisty”.

Jan 30, 2016; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad defensive back Harlan Miller of SE Louisiana (1) catches a pass during warmups before the start of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Pebbles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

In an interview to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate, SLU’s head football coach Ron Roberts talked up Miller’s athleticism, football intelligence, and most importantly that he is coachable.

I witnessed this myself after watching Miller live in Strawberry Stadium during his career at SLU, where he showed the ease in playing press coverage and rarely made the same mistake twice.

He was also known to do what Hall of Fame corner Deion Sanders made famous which is where he allowed the opposing quarterback to think Miller was beat, only to close the distance when the ball was released.

Tony Pauline of reported that the Saints coaches and scouting staff actually had four meetings with Miller while at the Senior Bowl so he’s definitely on their radar.

Next: Plug and Play