Prospect: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama*
Grade: 7.6 (Grading Scale)
+ Has the height, leaping ability to go one-on-one with tall receivers
+ Good but not great speed, looks to be a mid-4.4 to 4.5 40 time on tape
+ Long arms
+ Closes fast in both coverage and on downfield runs
– Quickness in covering receivers on quick route breaks is questionable
+ Played press coverage often at Alabama, effective at jamming receiver within 5 yards
+ Physical with opposing receivers, uses his length and size well
+ Consistently stays in front of his opposing receiver within 5-10 yards
+ Usually establishes position on inside hip when ball in air and receiver ahead of him
+ Does a good job pinning receiver toward sideline on outside routes
+ Only gave up three pass completions of 15+ yards in seven games watched
+ Typically isolated on island, gave up few completions
+ Usually makes immediate tackle after giving up catch
+ Reacts well to short underneath passes, makes play quickly when on his side of field
– Sometimes face-guards when he gets beat
– Has not shown ability to backpedal deep, turns and runs with receiver and sometimes gets beat by speed
+ Very good at finding the football in air, making a play on the ball
+ Can high-point the ball to take catch away from receiver
+ Reads underthrown ball well, knows when he can let receiver go to make play on ball in front of him
+ When receiver leaps to make catch, continues fighting with his hands to try to knock ball out as receiver comes down to ground
+ Tied for NCAA lead in junior season with 22 passes defended (2 INT, 20 PBU)
– Does not make the tough catches for interceptions, both interceptions came when pass well away from intended receiver
+ Terrific corner blitzer: tracks down QB/runner with great speed, patient and finds good lanes as a rusher
+ Hits hard
+ Strong, pulls runner down when he gets him wrapped up
+ Attacks from secondary when a run/short pass play comes in his direction, rather than waiting for play to come to him
+ 54 tackles in junior season
– Not a sound form tackler, tries to tackle high/upright rather than wrapping up low
– Whiffs with some frequency on plays where he has to chase down runner
– Takes some poor angles when chasing down a runner
+ Good vision, reads opposing QB’s eyes well
+ Very good coverage instincts
+ When covering downfield, good at seeing when QB checks down to short pass or run, breaking off man to come in as support tackler
+ Effort is noticeable, never gives up on a play even when not on his side of the field
+ Contributes on special teams
– Only a full-time starter for one year
Although only a one-year starter, Milliner is a well-rounded cornerback with few flaws in his game. He utilizes his great size and length as a physical cover corner and is active in run support. He does not wow athletically, but has the speed and leaping ability to go up against any wide receiver.
Milliner rarely gives up big plays, and does a great job making plays on the football. Although not targeted often at Alabama, he was consistently around the football, as he reacts to run plays and underneath throws quickly, and hustles consistently. He is a sound hitter when in proper position to make a stop, but is not a great form tackler and missed some tackles when chasing down runners.
Milliner is the most complete cornerback in the 2013 draft class, and is capable of coming in and starting right away while having the potential to be among the league’s best cornerbacks in time. He is expected to be the first cornerback off the board and a top-15 draft choice.
vs. Michigan (9/1/12):
-In press man, gives free release, breaks on ball and makes the deflection.
-Misses tackle in space, dove for the ankles and missed.
-Doesn’t back down, going after Taylor Lewan after the play.
-Gets his hand in and disrupts the catch, great timing.
-Comes on corner blitz, breaks down and gets RB to the ground.
Full scouting notes for Milliner vs. Michigan.
vs. Georgia (12/1/12):
-Closes on pass into the flat and takes Gurley right out of bounds for a minimal gain
-Turns his head and does a good job getting his hands up to deflect a pass away that was intended for Malcolm Mitchell
-Did a good job using the sideline as an extra defender squeezing Mitchell
Full scouting notes for Milliner vs. Georgia.