With the No.9 pick in the 2013 Draft, the Jets selected Alabama standout cornerback Dee Milliner. Find out whether general manager John Idzik made a great first selection in his short tenure or if the Jets dropped the ball with their top ten pick.
DeMarcus "Dee" Milliner, CB, Alabama
Milliner has been highly touted as is arguably the best cornerback in the 2013 draft class. His elite speed and tackling ability make him the obvious choice for a great defensive mind like Rex Ryan
. The Alabama native had an outstanding career for the Crimson Tide, earning USA Today All-American honors in the 2009 season. The breakout year saw Milliner record 71 tackles, intercept three passes and breaking up eight more. Opposing teams began to throw the ball away from Milliner, instead choosing to attack the players on the defensive side of the ball. Last season Milliner etched his name in the Crimson Tide history books by ranking third all-time in pass deflections with 18. He finished the 2011 season as a unanimous first team All-American as well as a finalist for both the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the best defender and the Jim Thorpe Award for top defensive back.
There is no reason why Milliner cannot become a household name for the New York Jets
. Joining the team after the big trade that sent Darrelle Revis
to Tampa Bay, Milliner will be counted on to begin filling the void that the Pro Bowl cornerback left behind. Milliner has a great upside and can help Jets fans get over the pain of losing their best player. With Antonio Cromartie
as his guide and mentor, Milliner will have the ability to learn from a seasoned veteran who is one of the best at his position. The only concern for Milliner is his health. Expected to start training camp on the physically unable to perform list, Milliner will have to heal from shoulder surgery quickly to don the Jets uniform and try to outperform Revis in their Week 1 game against Tampa.
Compare Milliner to any cornerback you like but he will always be compared to the recently departed Revis. Now officially a Jet, Milliner can expect to always be thrust into the same sentence as Revis. Did the Jets make the right selection in trading one for the other? Milliner has a great chance to be a Revis-type shut down corner. Both have elite speed and great coverage ability. Expect the Crimson Tide alumnist to start making his own name for himself outside of Revis' shadow and lay down the foundation of his own "Milliner Island".
Gang Green did a superb job by taking Milliner with the No. 9 overall pick. There were great options at defensive end left on the board but the pick just made too much sense for the organization not to make. Milliner was expected to be taken long before the Jets made their pick, with draft experts projectimg him to be picked by the Cleveland Browns
at No. 6. Another great selection would have been Tyler Eifert
out of Notre Dame
to replace the departed Dustin Keller
. The Jets were fortunate to have Milliner fall into their lap at No. 9. He has the chance to become an elite talent playing alongside a great corner and under a great defensive mind in Ryan. Milliner should live up to the hype surrounding him and prove to become a great first pick by new general manager John Idzik.