As the Oakland Raiders get ready for the 2019 NFL Season, their off-season has shaped up to be productive. Adding three first-round picks and a former All-Pro player in Antonio are certainly strong indicators of this.
Another strong aspect of the Raiders is offensive tackle Kolton Miller. Standing at 6’8″ and weighing a whopping 328 pounds, he is quite literally one of the strongest parts of the Raiders.
Miller, in fact, gained a reported 18 additional pounds since the start of his rookie season last year. Head coach Jon Gruden is very happy with his progress over the last year and believes he can develop into one of the best left tackles in the league, via Kyle Martin of Raiders.com:
“We think Kolton Miller is going to be one of the best left tackles in football,” Gruden told reporters yesterday. “He’s not only healthy, he’s in great shape. He’s gotten a lot stronger. He’s added some weight and some muscle. He’s still a real flexible athlete that can run and change directions. Being in the second year of the system, I expect a lot of good things. We still have to solve the left guard and that will be a big part of his development as well.”
Gruden’s confidence in Miller will hopefully hold true for the sake of quarterback Derek Carr. Carr was sacked 51 times in 2018, tied for third-most in the league.
Miller’s newfound ease to the game could partially be due to a lack of injuries. Miller was reportedly dealing with injuries last season. Despite that, he still performed well and even received praise from Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller.
Gruden gave Miller a vote of confidence earlier in the offseason when he declared that he would be staying at left tackle despite the team handing out a record-breaking contract to former New England Patriots left tackle Trent Brown. He will be playing on the right side to accommodate Miller.