When the New York Jets traded All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis the team knew it would be tough to replace him. Wasting no time New York used its first draft pick to select Dee Milliner ninth overall.
The University of Alabama product is a big, physical cornerback. At 6’0″, 201 pounds he possesses ideal size. Add his quick feet to the mix and head coach Rex Ryan has a player he should be very excited about.
During his time at Alabama, Milliner was part of a star-studded defense so he didn’t receive a great deal of attention until his junior year. That season he was recognized for his accomplishments by being named an All-American en route to winning a second straight BCS championship.
Milliner has played in big games before and being in New York the spotlight will surely be on him. What Jets fans and the organization need to realize though is that he is a rookie and cannot be expected to do what Revis did the past six years, at least not yet.
The defense still has Antonio Cromartie who did a solid job of filling in for Revis last season as the No. 1 cornerback and as of right now that job is his.
Milliner will compete with Kyle Wilson for the spot opposite Cromartie. Whoever wins the No. 2 job will have his work cut out for him as quarterbacks tend to throw in the opposite direction of the No. 1 corner. The rookie has the size and speed advantage over the third-year veteran, but regardless of who is named the starter they both will see their share of snaps.
This position battle will be closely watched by Ryan and the rest of his staff. Milliner has the skills to play in the NFL, now he has to prove he can compete with the best of the best.
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Written by Matt Brody