In the 2009 draft, the Jaguars drafted Zach Miller out of Nebraska-Omaha in the 6th round. Despite setting numerous Division II records, Miller was never a real passing threat in college and would have to switch positions in the NFL. The self professed "Poor Man's Tim Tebow" had many Jaguars fans feeling a definite case of deja vu. Former Savior of Arkansas Matt Jones was supposed to do everything Miller was.
However, Miller has already proven that he has much more to offer than his Arkansas counterpart. Miller began to come on in the latter half of 2009. He grabbed 14 receptions for 161 yards and 2 TDs in the final four games of 2009, including his "breakout performance" against Cleveland.
Unlike most of the other TEs on the Jaguars roster, Miller is a "WR lined up at TE" kind of player. He can certainly block when he is asked, but when he's on the field, it is to provide a big target that can go full speed. Those are the kind of players that put up the big numbers at the TE position, and eventually get to go to the Pro Bowl. It's the same reason players like Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark, and Jason Whiten are the most well known Tight Ends in the NFL.
Before the Cleveland game, Miller burst onto the scene in Week 13 vs the Houston Texans. His 62 yard catch and run showed exactly the kind of athleticism a certain Arkansas Quarterback was supposed to bring to the Jaguars, but never did.
It has been thrown out that Miller may be given a chance to compete for the #2 WR spot behind Mike Sims-Walker. It would certainly add to the mix at WR, especially if nobody rises up to the challenge out of the current WR group. Zach certianly has the speed in order to be a WR. If you don't believe me, who else on the Jags can out run MJD by 10 yards when MJD is going full speed?
Behind Mike Sims-Walker, the wide receiver position has just as many question marks as it did a year ago. While Troy Williamson came on in last year's camp and preseason, he has still yet to do anything in the regular season. Mike Thomas may want the #2 spot badly, but he will probably be the slot receiver for the Jaguars when push comes to shove. After that, it gets into even more of a murky mess, with only Jarrett Dilliard having some kind of report.
I have to ask, why couldn't Zach Miller try to break into the line up via that route? He has the tools, and has been showing the ability to become a big time receiver. The Jaguars could have their cake and eat it to in regards to the TE position. Keeping Marcedes Lewis in to block while having Miller keeping coverages honest.
Is it a little too much to be hoping for based off of one game? Maybe. Remember how everyone thought that certain Arkansas QB turned the corner by being the only Jaguar to have a decent game in the playoff loss to New England in 2006? It could be the same for Miller. However, I already know Zach has much more dedication and heart.