Jets saw Milliner improve under Reed's wing

With the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the New York Jets selected cornerback Dee Milliner from the University of Alabama. While the rookie defensive back took his licks early on, it was of a veteran safety that helped the former Crimson Tide star turn the corner and gain some momentum heading into the 2014 season.

The impact Ed Reed had on the field for the New York Jets was questionable. The impact he had on the locker room--or at least on one player in particular--wasn't, according to his teammates.

First-round cornerback Dee Milliner struggled for most of his rookie season, but he finished it as well as anyone at the position, snagging three interceptions and batting down 10 passes in the last two games.

Milliner's fellow defensive backs credit much of his end-of-season success to the future Hall-of-Famer Reed.

"The last four weeks of the season, Ed Reed took Dee under his wing," Jets cornerback Ellis Lankster said this week, via "He just taught him the game. As of right now, I feel like, in the future or this year, Dee is going to be one of the top corners in the NFL."

Defensive back Jaiquawn Jarrett added that Reed's impact on Milliner "was evident in the way he started to play toward the end (of the season).

"His game elevated. Unfortunately, he didn't get the reps that he needed in (training) camp. But when he got the opportunity and Ed got with him, his game elevated. You saw that Dee Milliner is capable of playing day in and day out."

The Jets are all-in with Milliner moving forward, as the Alabama product is etched in the No. 1 spot on the depth chart for better or worse. the No. 2 and 3 spots will be battled for by a handful of veterans and youngsters alike, namely former Miami Dolphins corner Dimitri Patterson and third-round pick Dexter McDougle.

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