The cornerback class in the 2013 NFL Draft obviously isn't the greatest of all-time. According to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner is not elite, but he is still the best available player at his position, so he should interest the Detroit Lions, who have the No. 5 overall pick. Despite the fact that he lacks big-time speed, he is fast enough to make a splash in the pro ranks. Perhaps his best attributes are his long arms and his incredible timing, which allow him to make plays on balls that others might not be able to get to.
The 6-foot-1, 198-pound Milliner may not wow you with extremely flashy plays and his name may not be called very much by announcers, but that's because he is likely the best cover corner in the 2013 NFL Draft. He doesn't make many tackles because he doesn't allow his opponents to catch the ball very often. He doesn't make many interceptions because quarterbacks don't throw his way. He sticks to wide receivers like glue, almost never finding himself out of position, and the few times that he does make a misstep, he generally chases his assignment down and makes the necessary tackle.
As a junior at Alabama in 2012, Milliner recorded 54 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two interceptions. He was at the top of the SEC in passes defended (22) and was a member of the First Team All-SEC. One of his best games of the season was in the season opener against Michigan, when he registered five tackles, one interception and four passes defended.
Given that the Lions need help on the defensive side of the ball, Milliner may very well find himself as a member of their secondary next year. However, if Detroit chooses to pass on the 21-year-old corner, it will leave him open to go to the Cleveland Browns at No. 6 or he could slip to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 13. It would be somewhat of a shock if he fell any further than mid-first round because his intangibles are off the charts.
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