Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Dee Milliner (28) during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Cowboys Stadium. Alabama won 41-14. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
Sorry for the horrible pun in the title; I just couldn’t resist.
But there is a lot of truth in the title, as Alabama corner Dee Milliner’s stellar season is propelling him into contention to be the top corner drafted.
Milliner has been a shut down corner so far this season for Nick Saban’s defense. He has impressive physical abilities on par with last year’s first round pick Dre Kirkpatrick. His rise has come as a surprise to some, but his potential is obvious.
Milliner is 6’1″ and 200 pounds with long arms and very quick feet. His back pedal is particularly impressive for a man with his frame, and his hips are much more fluid than Kirkpatrick’s were. He is very handsy at the line of scrimmage and disrupts wide receivers consistently.
He should clock in with a very good 40 time as well as the explosion drills (vertical leap, broad jump). Milliner’s athleticism is top flight, but you can tell he has been paying attention in his meetings with Nick Saban.
He fits the Saban Corner profile to a ‘T’. He uses his big, strong frame at the line of scrimmage, and then is able to play underneath the wide receiver while he has safety help over the top. He has good playmaking ability and is opportunistic, while not being too much of a gambler.
I may sound a bit “gushy” over Milliner now, but there really isn’t much not to like. He doesn’t have quite the athleticism of Patrick Peterson in 2011, or the ‘stickiness’ of Morris Claiborne, but he should easily contend for a top 10 spot in the 2013 draft.