As we continue the series on free agents that the Jaguars should target this offseason, it's best to clarify that the Jacksonville Jaguars will not only target top-tier free agents. You can expect a couple big name offers when free agency begins, but don't be surprised when the Jaguars go after players you wouldn't consider some of the best at their position.
Lamar Miller isn't a top-tier free agent. Lamar Miller isn't near Matt Forte's or Alfred Morris' caliber. But the Jaguars aren't looking for a running back like Forte to come in and start, they are looking for a running back to come in and change the pace of the game and to split the load with T.J. Yeldon.
The change-of-pace role is exactly the kind of role that Miller was put on this Earth for and it's why he's one of my favorite free agency prospects this year.
Miller, built at 5'10", 225 pounds, has played for the Dolphins since he was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. In his first season, Miller played sparingly, totaling 51 carries for 250 yards and a touchdown. He took over starting duties in 2013 and has complied a total of 2930 yards and 19 touchdowns rushing, as well as 887 receiving yards and an additional three receiving touchdowns, in his four-year career.
He's a stocky running back who is built with both power and speed to excel at both running between the tackles as well as making moves to find open field. While Yeldon is more of a one-cut running back, Miller brings power running to the table, which is exactly what the Jaguars are looking for in a change-of-pace running back.
The play above shows Miller's ability to find a tight gap but manage to squirm through the hole. When he gets to the second level just before finding the end zone, Miller meets two Titans and powers through the tackles to score six points.
This following play displays Miller's knack for breaking tackles and finding the open field:
After nearly being stopped for a loss of yards, Miller sped off into open field and, although the video cuts off, goes on to score on the play.
This kind of play-making ability can keep defenses on edge, as Miller offers different skill sets than Yeldon. Both are effective, solid running backs, but they are unique in their style of play, which can help propel the Jaguars offense to a more effective running game.
This final play shows Miller's ability to be used as a receiving back, sneaking out of the backfield on a play action screen route that resulted in a 55-yard touchdown:
As I said before, the Jaguars are really looking for a solid change-of-pace running back, and I believe that Lamar Miller is the answer. He offers special abilities that the Jaguars can utilize to create a more dynamic rushing attack, as well as a boost in the already thriving passing game the team has.
Contract-wise, Miller probably won't be offered more than an average running back contract since he isn't a top free agent. Now, that doesn't mean he wont be paid well, but he definitely will not be making DeMarco Murray money this offseason. If Jacksonville were to offer Miller a three-year, $15 million contract, I would consider it a perfect deal.
If the Jaguars are to make any noise offensively during the free agency period, they seriously need to take a long look at running back Lamar Miller.