The Falcons 2019 draft class has yielded a Pro Bowl-caliber guard in Chris Lindstrom, a capable starter in Kaleb McGary, and a pair of promising-if-inconsistent defenders in Kendall Sheffield and John Cominsky. The final three picks were bruising running back Qadree Ollison, intriguing cornerback Jordan Miller, and return specialist and speedy back/receiver hybrid Marcus Green.
As of this morning, only one of those final three picks is still with the team. The Falcons have waived Miller off of injured reserve, a surprising move that may signal the team’s done with a draft pick after only his second year.
Miller, 23, has appeared in 11 games over two seasons in Atlanta, managing 5 tackles and a fumble recovery over that span. He chipped in on 21% of special teams snaps in 2019 but between his early season suspension and an injured reserve stint that started in early November, Miller has barely seen the field in 2020. In his absence, the Falcons have turned to Blidi Wreh-Wilson, undrafted free agent Tyler Hall, and practice squad flex Delrick Abrams, and they’ve apparently decided those players will carry them through the end of the season. Hall in particular seems to have gained the favor of the coaching staff in recent weeks as a core special teamer and fill-in option at corner.
The Falcons currently have A.J. Terrell, Isaiah Oliver, and Kendall Sheffield under contract in 2021, with Hall looking like an easy re-signing as an exclusive rights free agent if the team wants him back. It’s more than a little surprising that the team is waiving Miller now with two years left on his contract for the next regime to consider, but again, since we have no reasoning from the team I don’t have any particularly good guesses as to their motivation.
Miller could still be back on the practice squad or re-join Atlanta when he’s healthy in the offseason, but I have no idea if that’s going to happen or if he’s destined to join another team. It’s a disappointing end to a career that had barely gotten started with the Falcons, and I had hoped we’d see more Miller this year as the team figured out its cornerback depth in 2021 and beyond. We’ll wish him well wherever he lands.