The Eagles cornerback situation for 2013 is quite the mystery. Is Nnamdi Asomugha coming back? It doesn’t look like it, but he’s still on the roster (for now). Is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie coming back? We’ll have to wait and see on that one. Regardless, it looks like the Eagles will need outside help at the position next year.
Enter Alabama corner Dee Milliner. He is the top corner prospect in this years class and should be a certain top 10 pick, if not top five. At 6-0 and 201 pounds, Milliner has nice size and showed that he has underestimated speed, clocking a 4.37 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. I really like the combination as it seems like more and more receivers are coming into the league that have height and speed.
Milliner is a true cover corner. He has fluid movement in his hips and doesn’t tend to get beat over the top. It doesn’t appear that he’s extremely comfortable pressing at the line, but he likes to play with a fairly small amount of space between him and the line of scrimmage. This has proven effective for him as he can use his long arms to break balls up on quick slants and his speed to stay with receivers who want to run deep.
Wherever he ends up on the field, Milliner has great ball awareness. He is able to find the ball quickly and seems to have a knack to naturally adjust to make a deflection or come up with an interception.
Some of the negatives I see from Milliner come outside of the passing game. He seems to have trouble getting off blocks and also has trouble with bringing down bigger running backs. Adding to that, he isn’t the best tackler I’ve ever seen. This isn’t to say he’s afraid to make contact, he’ll gladly lower his shoulder given the opportunity. However, he could use some work in his open field tackling.
Check out this video of Milliner against Tennessee, via DraftBreakdown.com.
It’s hard to assess whether or not Milliner will be a serious play for the Eagles right now. There are going to be multiple contributing factors that increase or decrease his value on their draft board. To me, the first is whether or not DRC returns. I’m going to go ahead and say that Asomugha has punched his ticket out of town already. Along with whether or not DRC returns will be whether or not there is a free agent corner the Eagles want to bring in to be a starter. They have been linked to Sean Smith, but we’ll have to see if there is any truth to that.
If DRC leaves and they don’t bring in a free agent, I see Milliner having a lot of value for them at the fourth overall selection. There are some guys they could potentially target in the second round, but Milliner looks to be a guy who can come in and be an impact cover corner right away.