Oakland Raiders

Raiders’ Kolton Miller looks like a new player — and Jon Gruden, Derek Carr are impressed

Hey, that guy at the Oakland Raiders training facility looks familiar. Is that Kolton Miller?

Sure is. The Roseville native and second-year left tackle said he bulked up in the offseason, going from 309 pounds to 328 as he joined the Raiders’ organized team activities starting Tuesday in Alameda.

Just how did he add weight to his 6-foot-8 body frame?

“Working out every day and eating the right stuff,” he said Tuesday. “I was back home in Sacramento and I was just working out every day and my parents were struggling to try to pile on the food every night.”

Raiders coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr were happy to see the progress Miller has made since his rookie season by adding more weight.

Gruden even set the bar high for the former UCLA standout.

“We think Kolton Miller is going to be one of the best left tackles in football.,” he said. “He’s not only healthy, he’s in great shape. He’s gotten a lot stronger. He’s added some weight and some muscle. He’s still a real flexible athlete that can run and change directions. We still have to solve the left guard and that will be a big part of his development, as well.”

Miller, the Raiders’ first-round pick in 2018, earned Carr’s respect last season by playing through nagging knee and shoulder injuries.

“He’s worked his tail off,” Carr said. “I knew that about him all season. When he was playing early in the season, he was locking some people up, and then when he got hurt, he never missed a practice, never missed a rep in practice. If Coach said he had to get out, he said, ‘No, Coach, I’m good.’ I knew right then and there, this guy is going to do whatever it takes next year to come in and be better. I’ve seen nothing but that from him – someone that is just gritty.

“I’ve seen him grind his teeth, really bear down in certain situations where I’ve seen other people cower away, to be honest with you. He hasn’t shown that, not even close, and to see him come in – how big and strong he is in the weight room and how much it meant to him, it was really cool to see. It confirmed everything I believed about him.”

When the Raiders signed free-agent Trent Brown, it was thought Brown would play left tackle. Instead, Brown is at right tackle.

It doesn’t matter to Miller where the Raiders want him to play because “I’m going to go where they put me.”

“I know last year wasn’t good enough,” he said. “I’m expected to be better, and I will be better.”

Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Oakland Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.