Welcome to Volume IX of “The Draft Spies”. This week, we will spy on the electric wide receiver prospect, Dax Milne. We will discuss why the BYU standout is not only ready for the NFL but ready to actively assist the Bills team in 2021. Continuing the existing trend of adding effective Wide Receivers could benefit the team greatly, both in the sustainment and enhancement of offensive lethality. Milne has a profile that can be developed in the image of more than one of the Bills current Wide Receivers.
SPY 1: WHO is the prospect?
Dax Milne is a homegrown Utahan from birth up to the present day conclusion of his collegiate career at BYU. He was born in South Jordan, Utah, and attended Bingham High School where he performed extremely well as a dual-sport athlete playing Football and Basketball. Milne has been no stranger to understanding and achieving championship-caliber results; this level of achievement began at Bingham HS. Milne was a Utah State Champion five times in his school career: three times in Football and twice in Basketball. Moreover, Milne was awarded the honor of “Athlete of the year” by the school. At the conclusion of his high school days, Milne was ranked as the 29th best Utah collegiate recruit by 247sports.
SPY 2: WHERE did he come from?
Milne thought it best and natural to remain in Utah and attend BYU. This later proved to be a rewarding decision, as Milne served as the main weapon for coveted QB, Zach Wilson, and the prolific BYU Offense. Only playing three seasons for the team, Milne was quickly elevated to a premier role in the offense, serving as the route running specialist and primary deep threat. He was, essentially and unequivocally, WR1. 2020 was, by far, Milne’s most impactful season at BYU and it can best be summed up with one word: “Domination.” Milne posted ridiculous numbers: 70 receptions for 1,188 yards, 8 TDs, and an average yardage production of 17 yards-per-catch. Milne showed a unique ability to develop excellent chemistry with his QB (Wilson) and the two managed to connect on 78% of plays overall, between them.
SPY 3: WHAT are his attributes?
Milne has physical measurables eerily similar to Bills Superstar WR, Stefon Diggs. At 6-1, Milne is one inch taller and four pounds lighter than Diggs (This is going somewhere … bold statement to come). The two most important attributes Milne possesses are his quickness and agility. The quickness is multifaceted, as he used explosive foot speed to beat defenders off the line of scrimmage and uses other levels of quickness to break on routes and yet still shows other levels of quickness to accelerate downfield and burn defenders. When doing so, he consistently shows the ability to stretch defenses and take the top off. Furthermore, Drae Harris of The Draft Network, espoused Milne’s ability to track the ball and make difficult catches regularly.
The point of agility, simply put, cannot be understated when discussing Milne’s game. This is an extremely underrated WR in this regard. Few WRs in this draft class have the ability to win against single coverage as effectively and as many times as Milne does. In fact, according to PFF: “PFF College rates Milne as the No. 2 receiver in the country against single coverage with a 94.2 rating behind leader Kyle Pitts of Florida at 96.0 and ahead of Alabama’s DeVonta Smith (93.0). He has been added to the Biletnikoff Award watch list by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club.”
Let that sink in for a second… Milne is better against single coverage than Alabama’s elite, Devonta Smith.
Lastly, many have pointed out that Milne is an extremely aggressive (for his size) receiver at the catch point, specifically. He will be physical with defenders, high-point the ball, and even wrestle catches away during contested ball situations.
At his pro day, Milne ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. Keep in mind that BYU sits at 4,600 feet above sea level, so numbers are skewed against players who play in such conditions. This is to say, his performance would be different at lower altitudes, and altitude is a factor that can fairly be taken into account as it pertains to performance.
Pursuit Failure Caused Rate (PFCR)
PFCR is a statistical metric that measures how good a player is at causing over-pursuit, creating broken tackles/stiff-arms, and accruing yards after contact. PFCR is based on a formulaic approach including all components mentioned above. It is scored on a 0-100 scale and is given a “U” if it is trending up and a “D” if it is trending down.
Milne PFCR Score: 90.0 U
SPY 4: WHEN should he be drafted?
Most projections suggest Milne tops out at as a mid-round candidate for the 2021 draft and could possibly slip to the late rounds. It is important to point out that, for a player of this caliber, that would be an extremely good value and is the type of pick-up Brandon Beane has been fond of pursuing.
Based on all available information, The Buffalo Fanatics places a 5th round grade on Dax Milne. Ultimately, Milne is worthy of “sleeper” status as a prospect.
SPY 5: WHY Milne is a fit for Buffalo’s offense?
To be bold is to be brave. Milne is Stefon Diggs “Lite” and could be his protege. Both players came from smaller schools in BYU and Maryland respectively. Neither player is the biggest, nor is either given the credit they deserve on a grand scale. Both players, however, are exceptional. Both players are elite and dynamic route runners that have complete skillsets and represent the ideal mold of the “WR1.” Much like the bravery of Milne, the current Bills WR corps also displays an indomitable spirit both on and off the field. Milne would be an ideal addition to the WR corps and is a quintessential “process” and cultural fit. Lastly, Milne has flexibility in his game, the type of flexibility the Bills value greatly. Of all the WRs explored in Spy coverage, none have been expected to be able to play in any offensive scheme. This statement has been made regarding Milne, per The Draft Network.
Milne has a championship mindset and is a strong-willed player. This, combined with all other factors, could be a boon to the Bills WR room. Milne can develop and learn from a stacked room of WRs and, if ready and available, could fill a spot role that has the benefit of keeping the rest of the WRs fresh in a longer, 17 game season to come.
DARKHORSE BONUS POINT: Prospect Fun Facts
● Father, Darren, was an All-Conference Baseball player at BYU and was later drafted by the Detroit Tigers MLB team.
● Was given the honor of 2nd team all-state athlete in Utah, in 2017. Dax ran a 4.1-second shuttle in High School, shockingly fast for a high school athlete. Dax has labeled himself as a player whose sole goal is to “make plays.”
In closing, please follow The Buffalo Fanatics on all platforms, trust the process, and go Bills. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.