Rontez Miles: 5 Things You Need to Know About the California University of PA FS
In a deep draft class at safety, it's easy for some prospects to be lost in the shuffle. There are no safeties that really stand out, but there are a lot that are similar in skill that rate around the same area.
Rontez Miles is one of those players that hasn't received much publicity. He comes from a small Division II school in Pennsylvania but proved he's more than capable of competing at a high level during combine workouts and in the Texas vs. The Nation game.
Unlike some of the other safety prospects, Miles is more of a project player. He won't start right away and will need some time to get used to the speed and skill level in the NFL.
He has shown the hunger and drive to improve, and if he can keep that same attitude, he can become a serviceable starter in the future.
Full Name: Rontez Miles
Hometown: Braddock, Pa.
High School: Woodland Hills
Major: Science and Technology
Miles decided to play with his step brother at Kent State even though he had offers from other big schools. When his brother got kicked out for marijuana possession and driving with an expired license, Miles decided to transfer closer to home and attend California University of Pennsylvania.
Miles showed improvement every season during his time at Cal U of Pa. He had up and down seasons his first two years as far as consistency in the number of interceptions but was able to increase his tackle numbers. In his junior and senior seasons he really took on more of a leadership role and showed a lot of improvement.
He was able to record nine interceptions in his final two years while recording a total of 75 tackles during his final season.
Weight: 203 pounds
Arm Length: 32.87"
Hand Size: 10.25"
40-yard dash: 4.62 seconds
Broad Jump: 10'3"
Vertical Jump: 36.5"
Three-cone drill: 6.97 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.27 seconds
Pro Day results
20-yard shuttle: 4.15 seconds
Three-cone drill: 6.85 seconds
Miles had a solid combine performance in which he showcased his overall athleticism and was able to impress scouts.
He was one of the top performers in the 40-yard dash. He also had a very solid performance in the vertical jump, good for ninth best of all safeties in the combine. His broad jump and three-cone drill were also near the top.
During his pro day, Miles decided to stick with a lot of his numbers from the combine but did improve in the couple events he performed in.
Miles proved that he does have natural athleticism, which intrigues scouts. He's not ready to start right away, but if he can develop properly he can be a good starter in the league.
After leaving Kent State when his step brother was kicked off the football team, Miles began working at a warehouse while attending community college before enrolling at California University of Pennsylvania.
USA Today published a story about the struggles Miles was going through and his motivation to play football.
Miles is there for much more than himself. He's also playing for his family, most notably his half brother, Vondre Griffin, who is currently in prison and awaiting trial on charges of criminal homicide and carrying a firearm without a license.
Miles is extremely close with his brother, which proves why he turned down several Division I offers and attended a smaller school to play alongside his brother.
"We've always been together our whole life. Even when my mom left and our father was gone for a good portion of our life, we always had each other," Miles said, referring to his father's disappearance and his mother's addiction to crack cocaine. "Losing him was a real blow, but it's put more fuel on the fire. It's pushing me harder."
Bleacher Report's Marques Eversoll gives us a full scouting report of Miles. He goes through strengths and weaknesses and goes well into detail in highlighting other aspects.
Miles only knows one speed—fast. He gets to the ball quickly and isn't shy about throwing his body around. Miles punishes wide receivers who are hung out to dry. When the ball is in the air, Miles looks to deliver the big blow to jar the ball loose.
He's certainly an impressive athlete, capable of being a difference maker against the run and the pass.
Sometimes playing with the pedal to the metal can get a player into trouble. Miles tends to overpursue when he's sizing someone up for a big hit.
While he may be one of the most powerful defensive backs in this year's draft, he could be flirting with disaster if he continues to be a head hunter at the NFL level.
Also, tracking the ball in the passing game is not one of Miles' best attributes.
Bleacher Report's NFL draft expert, Matt Miller, compares Miles to Miami Dolphins safety Jimmy Wilson. Miller believes Miles is extremely raw and inexperienced, and it should take him some time to get acclimated with the NFL game.