|Caleb Miller selected by Bengals in third round|
|From Staff Reports|
April 26, 2004 -- At 230 pounds, Arkansas linebacker Caleb Miller might be considered light to be an NFL linebacker, but the Cincinnati Bengals were more interested in measuring his play-making ability than his weight.
That's why they selected the former Sulphur Springs Wildcat in the third round of Saturday's NFL draft, the 80th selection overall. In picking Miller, Bengal coaches compared him to throwback All-Pro linebackers Jack Ham and Jack Lambert.
"He has a little Jack Ham look about him," Bengals linebackers coach Ricky Hunley said. "Awhile back, Jack Ham turned out to be an All-Pro. There was another skinny guy with a little waist named Jack Lambert.
" We are looking for guys who make plays on tape and who are productive. He gets in there and makes plays and mixes it up. I know that sitting here in the third round, he was still available for us to take, so we're fortunate. "
Miller (6-3 1/2, 230 pounds) was a three-year starter for the Razorbacks at outside linebacker where he racked up 368 tackles (232 solos) with 7 1/2 sacks for minus 51 yards, 36 stops for losses of 116 yards, 17 quarterback pressures, three fumble recoveries, five forced fumbles, four interceptions and 17 pass deflections. His 368 tackles rank third on the school's career-record list, topped only by Tony Bua and Ken Hamlin.
Bengals' coaches were impressed with his ability to shed blockers by using his hands and leverage, his knack for staying square with the ballcarrier, and the use of his 4.5 speed to put pressure on the quarterback, close on the receiver in the passing game and trail the play to bring down the ballcarrier from behind.
He may be moved to inside linebacker by the Bengals, but he has displayed the quickness and range to be very effective working on the edge.
Miller, who was working a Christian sports camp for children when he received the draft call, led Arkansas in tackles last season.
"I'm not really much of a talker about myself, but if I had to say anything, I'd say my strengths are my quickness and my ability to get off blocks," Miller said. "I definitely never slow down on the field, and I give 110 percent every time I am on the field. I make up for being undersized by shedding blocks. That's the way it was in college and I hope to continue that."
Well-respected by his teammates, Miller also excels in the class room, garnering Southeastern Conference and Verizon All-District academic honors. He spends a considerable amount of his spare time doing charity and community work.
He will be going to the Bengals, who were one of the surprise teams in the NFL last year under first-year head coach Marvin Lewis, considered to be one of the top defensive coaches in the league as a longtime assistant. Cincinnati went 8-8 last season, improving six games from the 2-14 record of 2002.