Braxton Miller

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/8/18

Today’s practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: LB Richard Jarvis

New Orleans Saints

  • Signed: QB J.T. Barrett

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Signed: WR Braxton Miller

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: WR Malik Turner

 

Cardinals Work Out WR Braxton Miller

Corey Coleman wasn’t the only wideout to audition for the Cardinals yesterday. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that the team was also hosting receiver Braxton Miller on a visit.

The former Ohio State quarterback was selected by the Texans in the third-round of the 2016 draft. Up to that point, Miller had had only played a single collegiate season at wide receiver. The inexperience showed during a lackluster rookie campaign, and he ended that season on the injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

The 25-year-old did show some improvement in 2017, hauling in 19 receptions for 162 yards and one touchdown. However, the Texans decided to roll with Sammie Coates and Vyncint Smith as their fifth and sixth wideouts, leading to Miller being cut last week.

The Cardinals are a bit thin at wide receiver, with undrafted free agent Trent Sherfield serving as the fifth wideout behind Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Chad Williams, and JJ Nelson. If Miller were to join Arizona, he’d probably slide into the fifth slot, and he could also contribute in the return game (three career kick returns, four career punt returns).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Finalize 53-Man Roster

With cuts due this afternoon, the Texans made theirs official. This includes all-time punter great Shane Lechler, which surfaced on Friday.

The Texans also released Joe Webb, thinning out their quarterback room to just Deshaun Watson and Brandon Weeden.

Houston will begin its season without the services of backup running back D’Onta Foreman as well. Still recovering from his season-ending injury sustained in November of last year, Foreman will begin the season on the Texans’ Reserve/PUP list. He won’t be eligible to play until after Week 6.

As for the rest of Houston’s Saturday roster decisions, here’s who will not appear on the 53-man group to start the season:

Released:

Waived:

Waived with an injury designation:

Released with injury settlements

Placed on Reserve/Non-Football Illness list

Texans Cut WR Braxton Miller

The Texans cut a boatload of players on Friday, allowing them to inch closer to the 53-man max. Here’s the rundown, with all links going to Twitter unless noted otherwise:

Miller is the biggest name of the bunch, but his release does not come as a huge surprise. The former third-round pick out of Ohio State has posted a grand total of 34 catches for 261 yards and two scores over the last two years, and he failed to really stand out in the preseason.

Will Fuller, Bruce Ellington and fourth-round pick Keke Coutee seem likely to make the cut behind star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and it remains to be seen whether Houston will carry five or six receivers in total.

South Notes: Colts, Hankins, Saints, Titans

Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins‘ three-year deal with the Colts has a maximum value of $30MM and contains $10MM fully guaranteed, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. That guarantee comes in the form of Hankins’ 2017 base salary of $3MM, and a $7MM roster bonus (which has already been paid). Incentives tied to playing time, sacks, and Pro Bowls, plus $1MM in per-game roster bonuses, can push the deal to $30MM, per Graziano and Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Hankins’ $7MM annual average places him tied for 18th among interior defensive linemen, alongside Jurrell Casey and Tyrone Crawford.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • The Saints recently put Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles through a workout, reports Herbie Teope of NOLA.com. New Orleans had also hoped to bring in Bolles for a predraft visit, but Bolles’ packed schedule didn’t allow him time to meet with the Saints. Bolles could be on the board when New Orleans picks at No.11, and as Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune tweets, offensive tackle is an underrated need area for the club. Incumbent left tackle Terron Armstead has had trouble staying healthy, while right tackle Zach Strief is entering his age-33 season.
  • East Carolina receiver Zay Jones is meeting with the Titans today, per Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Jones, who put up an eye-popping 158 receptions, 1,746 yards, and eight touchdowns in 2016, is the draft’s No. 46 overall player in the estimation of Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, who lauds his “strong hands” and “clean, efficient” route running. Tennessee is in dire need of help at the wideout position, as their current depth chart is lead by Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe, and Harry Douglas. Jones could be an option for the Titans with the 18th pick.
  • Saints edge rusher Hau’oli Kikaha took part in offseason workouts today, tweets Katzenstein, an excellent sign after Kikaha missed the entire 2016 campaign with a torn ACL. Kikaha, who also suffered two ACL injuries in college, appeared in 15 games and made 11 starts for New Orleans during his rookie season in 2015. In that time, the 24-year-old racked up four sacks, 50 total tackles, two passes defended, four forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. The Saints are desperate for another pass rusher to play opposite Cameron Jordan, and Kikaha could present that option.
  • Texans wide receiver Braxton Miller has hired Vayner Sports for representation, as the agency announced today (Twitter link). Miller, a 2016 draft pick, won’t become a free agent until 2020, and isn’t even eligible for an extension for two more years. In 10 games last season, Miller played primarily as a slot receiver, and managed 15 receptions for 99 yards and one touchdown. The 24-year-old also returned three kickoffs and one punt, and played 32 special teams snaps in total.

Texans Place Braxton Miller On IR

The Texans have placed rookie wide receiver Braxton Miller on injured reserve and promoted fellow pass-catcher Wendall Williams from the practice squad to the active roster, the club announced today.Braxton Miller (Vertical)

[RELATED: Texans Place Jaelen Strong On IR]

Miller, a third-round pick out of Ohio State in the 2016 draft, didn’t make much of an impact during his first season in the NFL, and injuries certainly played a factor in his lack of contributions. Hamstring issues limited Miller earlier in the season, and now it’s a shoulder ailment that’s ending his season for good. In 10 games this season, Miller played primarily as a slot receiver, and managed 15 receptions for 99 yards and one touchdown. The 24-year-old also returned three kickoffs and one punt, and played 32 special teams snaps in total.

Williams, 26, signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent out of Cumberlands this spring. After being waived at final cutdowns, and spending a few weeks with the Jets’ practice squad, Williams has spent most of the year on the workout circuit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Pick Signings: Browns, Texans

Today’s draft pick signings:

  • The Browns announced that they have signed second-round pick Emmanuel Ogbah. The deal is worth $6.6MM (including a $3MM signing bonus) over four years. The six-foot-four linebacker earned the Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year last season, and he compiled 28 sacks during his three-year tenure at Oklahoma State. With the signing, the Browns have now signed half of their record 14 draft picks.
  • The Texans announced the signing of third-round wide receiver Braxton Miller. Miller began his Ohio State career as the team’s starting quarterback but transitioned over to the wide receiver position in 2015. Last year, Miller caught 26 passes for 341 yards and three scores across 13 games. He also rushed for 260 yards off of 42 carries.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Pauline’s Latest: Falcons, Neal, Joseph, Titans

Cal quarterback Jared Goff and North Dakota State signal-caller Carson Wentz are widely expected to come off the board in that order with the top two picks on Thursday night, but there’s some uncertainty about how the next several picks will play out.

After speaking to several people around the league, Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com takes a shot at forecasting how picks three through eight will go. In Pauline’s view, the most probable scenario would see DeForest Buckner land with the Chargers, Jalen Ramsey to the Cowboys, Myles Jack to the Jaguars, Laremy Tunsil to the Ravens, Ronnie Stanley to the 49ers, and Joey Bosa to the Browns.

Ezekiel Elliott is a wild card – if he’s still on the board at No. 8, the Browns could potentially trade down with a team like the Dolphins – but otherwise Pauline’s predictions for the top eight seem entirely plausible. According to the draft scribe, the Chargers feel like they “desperately” need to add a standout defensive lineman, while the 49ers also covet Buckner, so that’s a situation worth watching too.

Here’s more from Pauline:

  • While Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee has frequently been linked to the Falcons at No. 17, Pauline hears that Clemson linemen Kevin Dodd and Shaq Lawson are also in play. According to Pauline, head coach Dan Quinn has been pushing for the team to select safety Keanu Neal, though that’s probably only a possibility if Atlanta trades down.
  • Washington wouldn’t mind trading down and nabbing West Virginia safety Karl Joseph, says Pauline.
  • According to Pauline, there’s a decent chance that the Titans will use one of their second-round picks to grab Ohio State wideout Braxton Miller, assuming the team doesn’t use any of those selections in a trade. Tennessee will also likely consider Buckeyes linebacker Joshua Perry on day two.
  • The Broncos plan on drafting a running back on day three, and Pauline hears that they like Auburn’s Peyton Barber in the neighborhood of the sixth round.
  • Teams are already talking to prospects and their agents in an effort to sign those players as undrafted free agents after the draft, and some clubs are creating “bad blood” with their approach to this process. According to Pauline, a couple teams have called potential UDFA targets and told them that they’re unlikely to be drafted. Those players are still optimistic about being mid-round selections, so being told that they’re likely to go undrafted has soured those players (and their agents) on those teams, per Pauline.

Draft Rumors: Higbee, Boehringer, Miller

Western Kentucky tight end Tyler Higbee plead not guilty to charges stemming from his alleged altercation on Sunday, as Peter Schrager of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). Higbee, considered to be one of the top tight ends in this year’s class, contends that the other man involved in the skirmish put his hands on his girlfriend, prompting Higbee to intervene. The other participant in the fight has been booked five times since 2014.

As Schrager notes, Higbee’s court date is on May 5th, days after the draft on April 28th-30th. Prior to the incident, teams were viewing Higbee as a Day 2 or Day 3 player, so they’ll be interested to hear his side of the story.

Here’s the latest NFL Draft news:

  • German wide receiver Moritz Boehringer had team visits with the Chiefs, Packers, and Vikings last week, as Andy Fenelon of NFL.com writes. On Monday and Tuesday, he met with the Rams, on Wednesday he’ll visit the Seahawks, and next week he’ll visit the Saints, Falcons, and Panthers. Boehringer started turning heads in the NFL last month and one scout estimated in March that he could go in the fourth round. Based on the number of teams interested in him, one has to wonder if Boehringer could go even earlier.
  • Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link), Ohio State receiver Braxton Miller said 10 clubs ventured to Columbus to work him out, and while a few have had do drills in the slot (where’s expected to play in the NFL), many had him work outside. The Titans, Bengals, and Ravens are just three of the teams known to have interest in Miller.
  • Like Miller, Michigan State defensive tackle Joel Heath also appeared on SiriusXM (Twitter link), and also discussed his specific NFL position, saying he’d be willing to move to the offensive line if that helped his pro prospects.
  • Washington, on the lookout for possible pass rushing help, is hosting Eastern Kentucky outside linebacker Noah Spence for a pre-draft visit today, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • The Vikings met with McNeese State running back Derrick Milton last week, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, who adds that Milton impressed Minnesota at their regional combine. Milton began his collegiate career at Mississippi State before transferring prior to the 2014 season.
  • Florida defensive end Alex McCalister met with the Eagles, as McAlister himself reported on Twitter. McCalister posted 12.5 sacks for the Gators over the past two seasons.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

AFC Draft Updates: Ravens, Dolphins, Chiefs

The Ravens hosted Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche and West Virginia safety Karl Joseph today, according to Albert Breer of NFL.com (via Twitter). Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley was also in Baltimore visiting the Ravens today, per Breer (via Twitter). Stanley is considered by most to be a top-10 lock, but not all teams agree, as Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net recently reported. Some scouts have concerns about Stanley’s apparent lack of athleticism.

Here are several more updates on draft visits and workouts from out of the AFC:

  • Ohio State wideouts Braxton Miller and Michael Thomas worked out for the Titans last week, then got a look from three Bengals evaluators on Monday, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report adds (via Twitter) that he keeps hearing Thomas is a top target for Cincinnati.
  • University of Miami defensive lineman Ufomba Kamalu, defensive back Deon Bush, wide receiver Rashawn Scott, and wideout Herb Waters were all a part of the Dolphins‘ local prospect day, according to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald (all four Twitter links). Western Michigan WR Daniel Braverman and Western Kentucky QB Brandon Doughty were among the other prospects with Florida roots to participate in the Dolphins’ local day, per Salguero (Twitter links).
  • In other Dolphins draft news, the team is privately working out Temple wide receiver Robby Anderson on Friday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.
  • Northern Illinois inside linebacker Perez Ford visited the Chiefs today, a source tells Aaron Wilson. Wilson also reports (via Twitter) that North Dakota fullback Will Ratelle, a converted linebacker, visited Kansas City.
  • Tennessee wide receiver Marquez North had private workouts with the Colts and Patriots, according to Aaron Wilson.

Zach Links contributed to this post.