Dee Milliner   CB   Alabama

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

 

STRENGTHS

Dee is one of the most technically sound cornerbacks that I have seen in a long time coming out of college.  He is smart; he understands down and distance as well as an opponent's tendencies in certain situations.  From what I have observed on film, I believe that Dee doesn't just study receivers, he also studies the opponents' coaches who are calling plays.  He is tall and has good size.  He lacks the quick twitch change of direction skills you like to see in a corner, but he makes up for it in understanding how to play his opponents and in understanding his own athletic talent. Dee works well in any style of coverage a defense wants to use and works very well with his safeties. In big games against big time opponents, at times, Dee has been the best defensive player on the field.  Dee shows good hands to make the interception and the vision and speed to take it all the way to the house for 6 points.  He has the mental toughness to turn the page and forget when he has been beaten and also has the ability during a game not to get beat over again on the same move. 

 

CONCERNS

Most of you know by now, rule #15 in Drew's draft rules about tackling.  Dee is excellent at supporting the run....when he wants to.  I know the kid doesn't want to get hurt before he is drafted, but against Ole Miss, he was handled and blocked on every sweep or screen to his side.  Sometimes kids are too smart for their own good, but the truth is he can (when he wants to) play and support the run better than most corners at the college level.  Dee also is a sloppy tackler in the open field and will dive at a player's legs and miss tackles.  That's a problem, but in the games he thinks are important, he will make the tackle in spite of his sloppy techniques.

 

BOTTOM LINE

Dee is not the type of player you pass over early because he is a sloppy tackler or because he plays the run effectively, depending on the competition.  You draft him, sit him down and tell him it's unacceptable and you come to some sort of compromise that you as a coach, can accept.  Maybe you tell him that his job is to get up into the backfield quicker and turn the play in so that others can make the tackle.  Maybe you tell him you expect him to string out the play and let others make the tackle.  But the one thing you don't do is ...not draft him if you need a corner.  If you deal with this kid and give him respect, he will do what you want; however, making him tackle players with poor techniques and forcing him to get hurt and not be on the field is a big mistake.  It comes down to this...COACH BETTER.  When he wants to, Dee happens to be excellent against the run and for me that is the difference in drafting him early.  He is not afraid to support the run, he just gets lax about it and in some games is not aggressive in doing it.  That's different than being afraid to support the run, which is why I can list him as a top corner in this draft.

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Jan/2013