2013 NFL Draft Cornerback Breakdown: Dee Milliner

February 4th, 2013

Would the Chiefs draft Milliner? (Photo: AP File)

KCCD Staff Writer: Jon Hake 

Chiefs Need: Moderate / High

Brandon Flowers is one of my favorite NFL corners but the fact is he is only 5’ 9”. Javier Arenas shows very good potential as a nickel corner and backup outside corner, but again, he is only 5’ 9”. Jalil Brown shows solid backup potential, especially for a 4th rounder, but he doesn’t seem like a true lockdown corner. Dee Milliner is a true shutdown corner, or at least has that potential. Having Milliner opposite Flowers would cause a real problem for opposing QBs trying to get the ball out before Hali/Houston get to them.

Physical Skills:

+ Great height for the cornerback position with great arm length and vertical to cover a large area with his arms.

+ Milliner is a very physical corner that isn’t afraid to get involved in run support when asked to.

+ Displays good straight line speed to keep up with receivers on the outside.

+ Great timing on blitzes and doesn’t come in wild; he is able to adjust to a QB stepping up.

- Shifty receivers cause problems as he sometimes struggles to change directions quickly.

- Doesn’t always wrap up when tackling. Often arm tackles or dives at legs.

Coverage:

+ Very good at jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupting timing.

+Makes sure to get his head around in order to get a hand on the ball.

+ Excellent man coverage corner due to his length and physicality.

+Plays his zone coverage well constantly reading the QB’s eyes however he could be looked off by a veteran QB.

-Never asked to back pedal at Alabama so he could need to learn the footwork of playing corner in the NFL.

- Keeps an eye in the backfield by turning rather than backpedaling which allows speed receivers to get by him sometimes.

Ball Skills:

+ Times his jumps to attack the ball at the highest point while still ensuring he is in position to make a tackle.

+Good hands for a corner, capable of making difficult catches.

+Dangerous with the ball in his hands. Reads the field and tries to get a TD on every pick.

Intangibles:

+ Three year starter in Nick Saban’s defense.

+ Often seen calling pre-snap audibles for the defensive backfield this year.

+ Very intelligent corner that understands routes and uses it to undercut them.

+ Finalist for many awards and was a consensus All-American.

Analysis:

Dee Milliner is the top corner in the 2013 draft and will likely be a top ten pick. He certainly has the potential to be a lock down corner in the NFL.  His physicality and intelligence puts him in great positions to take advantage of poorly placed balls. His length and athleticism put him in positions to make plays even on balls that are thrown where they should be. Milliner could be in play for the Chiefs pick especially if there is a trade down that keeps them in the top ten picks. This draft features three corners over 6’ 1” with the potential to be lockdown corners and Milliner is clearly the top of the class.

 

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Cornerback Breakdown, Dee Milliner

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