Philadelphia Eagles: Why is Shareef Miller getting ghosted?

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

With a dire need for pressure off the edge, why has Shareef Miller failed to earn a single defensive snap for Philadelphia Eagles through the first eight weeks of the season?

Halloween – and the NFL trade deadline – may be over, but Shareef Miller is still getting ghosted.

That’s right, despite amassing meager returns from an abundant collection of defensive ends through the first eight games of the 2019 season, the Philadelphia Eagles haven’t given Miller a single defensive snap to show what he can do at the NFL-level.

But how could this be? How could the Eagles be averaging a little over 2.6 sacks a game and seldom even dress Miller for games?

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Worse yet, is Miller so forgone that the Eagles felt compelled to surrender a fourth-round pick – the very same round initially used to select Miller in the 2019 NFL Draft – to procure Genard Avery to save their rush’s potency?

Something just doesn’t add up.

A three-year starter at Penn State, Miller looked the part of a power rushing, Brandon Graham-style defensive end over his tenure in Happy Valley – amassing 14.5 sacks, 31.5 tackles for loss, and an even 100 tackles. While he never quite blew opposing tackles away with speed or supreme athleticism, Miller consistently found ways to impact a game and projected out as a solid base end in a 4-3 defensive front.

Clearly Howie Roseman concurred with that assessment.

After running a 4.69 40 with a 29.5 vertical jump and 16 reps on the bench press at the Combine, Roseman felt comfortable enough that Miller could transition his college production into Jim Schwartz‘s scheme and selected the Philadelphia native 138th overall.

And hey, maybe he still will be, but so far, the transition from college to the pros has been far from smooth.

Spending the vast majority of the preseason logging snaps with the third-stringers, Miller was thoroughly outplayed by both Josh Sweat and Daeshon Hall in a quartet of exposition games, leaving the team with a tough decision to make as to their roster construction.

While keeping Miller obviously made more sense from an asset retention standpoint, Hall was clearly the better player and looked like an ideal candidate to take up Chris Long‘s mantle as the team’s third rusher coming off the bench – so the team opted to keep six ends and call it a job well done.

It was not a job well done.

Fast forward to the midway point of the 2019 season and the Eagles have gotten basically nothing out of their defensive ends not named BG or Derek Barnett and needed to pull off a costly deal to manufacture some sort of pass rush.

Despite that, Sweat has logged his first sack, Hall has logged his first sack, and even Vinny Curry, somehow still earning snaps despite lacking any real pop, has a sack on 180 defensive snaps.

And as for Miller? Well, outside of two special teams snaps in Week 8, he’s been a none-factor over the first two months of the season.

Genard Avery can replace Chris Long. dark. Next

Who knows, maybe Jim Schwartz will shake things up and give Shareef Miller a nod over the likes of Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, or Daeshon Hall at some point during the back half of the season, but with Genard Avery already in the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 9 plans, that seems rather farfetched.