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Jags draft project at tight end


The Jaguars' sixth-round pick describes himself as a "poor man's Tim Tebow." He's Zach Miller, a 6-4, 235-pound small-college quarterback who'll be making a position switch to tight end.

"I'm a tight end now," Miller said when asked what position he plays. His college bio from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a Division II school to which Miller transferred after walking on at Nebraska (the big one), makes no mention of Miller having caught a pass.

Miller threw for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 1,061 yards and 18 touchdowns as UNO's quarterback last season, but he played tight end in only one game, the Cactus Bowl, a Division II all-star game.

"That's the only time I ever played tight end in my life," Miller said.

Jaguars Assistant Head Coach Mike Tice worked Miller out at UNO's pro day and Miller said he felt a connection between the two. Apparently the connection was strong enough for the Jaguars to draft Miller and attempt a rare switch from quarterback to tight end.

Quarterback to wide receiver is common. Matt Jones, of course, made that move with the Jaguars following his first-round selection in 2005. Quarterback to tight end? Well, Jim Jensen comes to mind. Tight end was just one of several positions Jensen played with the Dolphins from 1981-92.

Miller was lightly recruited coming out of high school in Nebraska. His junior year was wiped out by a broken collar bone and he didn't hit a growth spurt until he was a senior. He walked on at Nebraska as a quarterback but transferred to UNO when Bill Callahan was hired to coach the Cornhuskers and it became apparent Miller was not in the new coach's plans.

The Jaguars are including Miller in their plans. He'll be a project but he's a big guy who runs the 40 in the 4.47-4.54 range, his college rushing yardage clearly proves he has run-after-the-catch ability, and he promises that "one thing that's not going to be lacking from me is effort."

Miller is just another pick in what is clearly a good-guy Jaguars draft; strength of character is a priority.

"I'm the poor man's Tim Tebow. I'll take that," Miller said. "I think I can play in the league. The best football players step onto the field every weekend and to step onto the field with them is a great honor."

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