by Christian Mott
When it comes to the NFL Draft, there’s always a fringe guy who almost everyone sleeps on. These guys never make it in the league but a select few break through. That has to be the case for Dax Milne. The expectations for Dax Milne has to be set different than those of Zach Wilson and Brady Christensen who are safe locks for their respective rosters. Football analyst Nick Chandler gives his input and few dark horse teams are suggested for Milne if he can’t make Washington’s roster.
Dax Milne, WR
Drafted: #258 | Washington Football Team
Wide receiver: a position group in recent years that has been partially devalued. A reason for this is the depth and quality of talent entering the league every year. This was a large factor for Milne’s day three draft position. The burner who was a big target for Zach Wilson will now be fighting for a roster spot for Washington. That is easier said than done after Washington ramped up their receiving corps.
Something that doesn’t help him is ironically his quarterback. Playing with Zach Wilson or any stud quarterback in college can sometimes devalue the players that are catching the ball. Something else that contributed to his late drafting is overall depth of the 2021 draft. One of Milne’s best abilities is his speed and ability to go after the deep ball. With the league starting to showcase these fast guys, this actually helps Milne. However this attribute did not translate to his forty as he ran a subpar 4.57. While not slow by any means, as a deep threat at the next level it simply doesn’t cut it.
“The first thing that comes to my mind about Dax Milne is he’s another one of those guys,” Chandler said. “Think about it. You know who these guys are: Ryan Swope, Kelvin Harmon and so on. These are guys who look great in college but their play doesn’t translate to the NFL. Dax does do one thing good: his deep ball tracking was great. He doesn’t do anything that really makes him stand out from the other receivers entering the draft every year.”
Chandler goes ont to say he thinks will happen to Dax at the NFL level. He has just a good a chance any other late round guy, but he doesn’t see him as an NFL player. If he is going to make it in the league, it will be as a practice squad player or at best a solid special teams contributor.
Initially, it doesn’t look good for Milne’s chances in the league. His time to shine will be in the preseason. With the NFL new shortened preseason now being three games, he will have to really shine to make the 53 man roster. The question then is what his role on the team will be if he makes Washington’s roster. When looking at the Football Team, it’s going to be almost impossible to get snaps at receiver in year one unless several injuries happen. If Milne sees any playing time as a receiver, that would be a surprise.
His home will be on special teams. Typically how alot of these late round guys stay on a roster. Special teams is completely realistic for Dax. His on-field speed may give him a chance to return kicks, but with Curtis Samuel on the team that could be up in the air. If he is cut by the football team, where could he end up?
He could go to any team depending on who goes down in the preseason. There are three teams that may add Milne for depth. First is the Jets as they may want to reunite Wilson with his number one receiver in college. It makes sense as Tristen Hoge, another Wilson teammate, got picked up as an undrafted free agent. There is no reason they couldn’t do the same with Milne.
Next up is Houston who is in hot water right now. He could be added if they want more youth on the roster. This could be his chance for reps at receiver as a rookie. Finally, a team that’s know for their late round receivers is the Patriots. Its a running joke at this point that Bill Belichek finds a way to take these late round slot receivers and turn them into borderline pro bowl talents. Overall, it doesn’t look good for Dax. However, the NFL is a funny place and sometimes its the guys least likely to succeed that do great things.
Featured image courtesy BYU Photo