Alabama CB Milliner Answers Speed Question

Entering this week, the only question about Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner was his speed.

He provided an emphatic answer Tuesday morning, running an unofficial 4.31 40 at the Combine.

Milliner (6-0, 201) is scheduled to have surgery on March 12 to repair a torn labrum (shoulder). He suffered the injury during a Nov. 10 game against Texas A&M, but still played in Alabama’s final four games.

“I could’ve had it right after the game, but I felt the need – I had to come out and do something,” said Milliner, who estimated a two-month rehab stint. “I didn’t just want to sit out the Combine and pro day, and then y’all guys get to wondering, saying this and that. So I just wanted to come out and showcase that I can move around, I can run, and I swing my arm around.”

The only question now is: How high will Milliner be selected? SI.com’s Peter King wrote recently that it would be a surprise if he got past the Lions at No. 5. And NFL Network’s Mike Mayock was asked before the Combine about the Eagles possibly taking Milliner with the fourth pick.

“I happen to think number four is a little high for Dee Milliner,” Mayock said last week. “I really like him. I think he’s a heck of a football player and I think he’d be safe. But I don’t think he’s that explosive 4.35 kind of 40 guy. If they took him, I’d be OK with that because he’s a solid football player, but I think it’s a little high for him.”

After Milliner ran today, Mayock conceded that he’ll be a top-10 pick.

In the last 10 years, only two cornerbacks have been selected in the top-five – Terence Newman, whom the Cowboys selected fifth overall in 2003, and Patrick Peterson, whom the Cardinals took fifth in 2011.

While the Eagles will draft the best player available, they clearly need young corners. And Milliner would bring toughness that has been lacking at the position now for several years. The other factor to consider is scheme fit. We don’t know exactly what Chip Kelly wants out of his cornerbacks, but according to the NFL Network broadcast, Milliner played press about 85 percent of the time in college.

One other note here: Milliner’s time could help the Eagles even if he’s not their selection. If a team falls in love with him and wants to get ahead of the Lions, perhaps the Birds would be able to entertain some offers and move down.

The consensus seems to be that this is not a top-heavy draft, so trades into the top-five seem unlikely, but as always, it only takes one team willing to pull the trigger.

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  • Al

    This is good news. I agree with the last part of this article. The more top prospects, the better.

  • nicksaenz1

    Even if his official time is a 4.4, he locked himself in the top 10, possibly top 5.

  • BrucieGambino

    Take him or Jordan cant do any worse than our current situation !

  • jabostick

    I don’t want to get too cute with draft trading but if Buff or TEN or the Jets wanted to beat Detroit to the punch with Millner and we get their second along with it, I think I could get behind that.

  • Jeff Williams

    I want him or Sharrif Floyd at 4

  • peteike

    I also like Milliner or Floyd but I think O line may be the safest pick in terms of longevity and a possible all pro for 10 yrs. You have to get that kind of value when drafting that high, does this guy get you that? Its possible but still a risk although we need solid corners. I also like that it could cause a trade if hes sought after. Didnt the cowboys trade up for Newman? Dont think Milliner has the hype that Newman or Peterson did coming out, not sure it gets that high either.

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    Entering this week, the only question about Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner was his speed.

    I don’t think so. Ball skills and backpedal should not be overlooked.

  • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

    For the money it cost to sign this kid, you can pick up a free agent who has youth and experience. Probably can attract a corner who is on the cuff of being voted into the Pro Bowl. The Eagles need, Offensive line help. The war is fought in the trenches. I don’t see this kid being a top 5 pick.

  • Wilbert M.

    THERE IS NO WAY MILLINER IS WORTH THE #4 PICK. Yes, I know that was all caps, but he is just a good CB, not much better than the 2012 DRC. The guy the Eagles should target is Sanders Commings in the 3rd round and make him a safety. He’s big. fast and can cover.

    Can the Eagles get the Rams to give up #16 and #22 for the 4th pick??

  • 413MASS-EaglesFan

    Ive had a labrum surgery on my right shoulder and I think a two month rehab is rushing it depending how bad his labrum is torn. Could be high risk to re-injure it once he extends that arm good once and gets knocked. Definitely looks solid but I think that if a team wanted to trade up to the #4 with us, we would have to entertain that idea. We are a young team looking to build and a few extra picks can only help in that process. But hey, if he is there I’m happy with picking Millner, just don’t rush him back because he will be key for a much needed revamped defense.