Miami Dolphins' Plan to Get Lamar Miller on Field May Be at Wide Receiver

Sigmund Bloom@SigmundBloomNFL Draft Lead WriterMay 7, 2012

DAVIE, FL - MAY 4: Lamar Miller #44 of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball during the rookie minicamp on May 4, 2012 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

When the Miami Dolphins traded up to take Miami-Florida RB Lamar Miller in the fourth round, the pick made sense on first glance simply because Miller was considered a second-round value on many boards.

The question remained, how would the Dolphins get Miller on the field with starting RB Reggie Bush coming off of his best season as a pro and 2011 second-round pick Daniel Thomas sharing the load?

After a Friday rookie minicamp practice, head coach Joe Philbin gave a clue to the eventual answer to that question. Dave George of the Palm Beach Post reports that Philbin and GM Jeff Ireland noticed that Miller lined up split out wide as a receiver at times in college and Philbin has designs doing that with Miller in the pros.

"There's a chance down the road, as Lamar gets acclimated, that he might be able to spread himself a ways as a receiver to a certain degree. I'm not saying make a full position change, but I think there's some flexibility with what you can do with the guy."

Miller was not an accomplished receiver in college, catching only 28 passes during his career, but there's reason to think he has untapped potential as a receiver. Matt Waldman of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio and NY Times Fifth Down Blog said Miller "catches the ball as well as any back in this class".

Waldman was impressed by Miller's body control, concentration and ability to make acrobatic catches.

It sounds like Philbin and Ireland have seen some of the things that Waldman saw, which is enough to consider expanding his ability to make an impact on offense beyond the backfield.