HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Harlan Miller will continue his football career as a member of the Arizona Cardinals, who selected the former Lion on day three of the NFL Draft Saturday afternoon in Chicago.
Miller was the 30th pick of the 6th round (overall pick 205). The Kentwood, Louisiana native is the first Lion drafted by the NFL since Robert Alford was taken in the second round (overall pick 60) by the Atlanta Falcons in 2012.
Miller, who is the 22nd player in school history to be drafted professionally by the NFL or now-defunct AFL, would be fortunate to follow in his former secondary mate’s footsteps. Alford has started 29 games in his three seasons with the Falcons, including all 25 he appeared in the last two years.
“I had a good private workout with Arizona,” Miller told AZCardinals.com. “I’m excited to fulfill my dream of playing in the NFL. The Cardinals already have a great defense, so I’m ready to play any role asked of me.”
Miller established himself as one of the best FCS defensive backs in the country over his final two seasons, earning All-America recognition in both 2014 and 2015. As a senior, Miller finished with 49 tackles while also leading the team with four interceptions and 10 pass breakups. In addition to the All-America honors, he was named first team All-Southland Conference for the third straight season.
Miller finished his career his 11 interceptions – good for fourth in school history. He received his bachelor’s degree in December from SLU and competed in the Senior Bowl and the NFL Draft Combine. At the Senior Bowl, he led the South with seven tackles and earned Defensive Player of the Week honors.
“We’re excited for Harlan to have the opportunity to continue his career as a member of the Arizona Cardinals,” Southeastern head coach Ron Roberts said. “This is not only a great day for that young man, but a great day for our university and our football program.”
Miller will join a secondary that already features a distinct Louisiana flavor. Among Miller’s new teammates are former LSU standout defensive backs Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. The Cardinals are the defending NFC West champions, finishing 2015 with a 13-3 record and advancing to the NFC Championship game.
Arizona opens the preseason on Friday, Aug. 12, hosting the Oakland Raiders. The regular season opener will see the Cardinals welcome the New England Patriots on Sept. 11 on Sunday Night Football on NBC. On Dec. 18, Miller will have a chance to play against his home state team, as the New Orleans Saints visit University of Phoenix Stadium.