Thursday, February 21, 2013
Could Dee Milliner fall to AFC East?
By James Walker
We have our first big injury news from the NFL combine. University of Alabama's Dee Milliner, the draft's top-rated cornerback, has a torn labrum in his shoulder that will require surgery, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
We haven't discussed Milliner's chances for the AFC East before, because he seemed to be a sure-fire top-five pick before the injury. But Milliner's torn labrum has a chance to drop his stock a few places, which now puts AFC East teams in play.
Milliner would be tremendous value for the Buffalo Bills at No. 8, the New York Jets at No. 9, and especially the Miami Dolphins at No. 12.
Miami is thin at cornerback. Sean Smith is an unrestricted free agent who is questionable to return, Dimitri Patterson could be cap casualty, and Richard Marshall is coming off a season-ending back injury. Milliner would plug into the starting lineup right away for the Dolphins. But chances aren't great that Milliner would drop out of the top 10.
The Bills and Jets have a more realistic chance. Buffalo drafted Stephon Gilmore in the first round last year, so it wouldn't be a huge need. But if Milliner is there at No. 8, it could simply be a case of Buffalo taking the best available player.
The Jets have plenty of cornerbacks. Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie are two of the NFL's best, and No. 3 corner Kyle Wilson looks ready to step in if the Jets trade Revis. If Milliner is available at No. 9, maybe the Jets could trade back and acquire more picks. New York has plenty of holes to fill in other areas.