Photo of Dee Milliner
Grade
93.2 ?
  • 4.37 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 36.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 122.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.95 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.32 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 6'0" Height
  • 32" Arm Length
  • 201LBS. Weight
  • 8 3/4" Hands

Overview

Milliner’s accomplishments during the Tide’s march to the 2011 BCS Championship weren’t well-known across the country because of the star power surrounding him on defense. With Dre Kirkpatrick earning national honors at one cornerback spot and fellow All-Americans linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Mark Barron also getting selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, it’s easy to see why Milliner wasn’t a household name. Now that Kirkpatrick, Menzie, and Barron are off to the NFL, Milliner was forced to be a lynchpin as the veteran in Alabama’s secondary.



Those following recruiting on a regular basis know Milliner well, as he was everyone’s All-American coming out of high school and ranked among the best cornerbacks and top 20 overall prospects in the country because of his elite combination of size and athleticism. Alabama head coach Nick Saban kept his word on any promise he might have made to Milliner on playing time in his true freshman season, as DeMarcus (nicknamed “Dee”) got into every game and started 11 on a loaded defense while also contributing on special teams. He was named to the Freshman All-SEC squad for his efforts (55 tackles, one interception, seven pass break-ups). Though he only started six games in 2011, he played consistently as the outside cornerback against pass-happy teams as senior DeQuan Menzie moved inside to the slot. When he got onto the field, Milliner made the most of his opportunities, intercepting three passes (one which he took in for a touchdown against rival Auburn) and breaking up nine others.



During his outstanding junior season, Milliner recorded 54 tackles, two interceptions, and a stunning 22 passes defensed on his way to a unanimous selection to the first-team All-American and All-SEC teams. He helped anchor the secondary for another National Championship season for the Tide, recording two passes defensed as he covered standout Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert in the BCS Championship game.

Analysis

Strengths

Owns sufficient height, length, and upper-body strength to fight with pro receivers over the middle or down the sideline. Capable of getting a solid punch at the line of scrimmage in press and the quick feet to stay with his man down the field after contact. Lines up receivers in the open field for the big hit. Displays the hip fluidity to open up to stay with deep routes or drop into his zone, while also possessing the foot quickness to stop-start on cut-off routes and on attempted double-moves. Very fluid hips, changes directions easily and clicks his feels to drive on the ball in a flash. Straight-line speed is also impressive, and will use it to hustle across the field when he’s uncovered. Also translates to closing speed when playing off his man or attacking plays in the backfield. Makes the easy interception, but also has the vertical and strong hands to win jump balls against larger receivers. Keeps outside leverage in the run game, forcing plays inside. Violent hand help him rip off receiver blocks. Knows defensive concepts, and playing for Saban gives him a huge step up in more advanced pattern-reading principles. Directs linebackers on combination coverage outside. Flashes the physicality to wrap up ball carriers and drive them to the ground.

Weaknesses

Stout running backs and physical receivers can run through his tackles, and he has a tendency to leave his feet and lunge. He should continue to get stronger, but needs to break down more consistently to get leverage. Dives at the feet of ballcarriers regularly, can be eluded in space. Doesn’t always land heavy hands on his man at the line of scrimmage when required, but his recovery speed usually makes up for it. Played on a loaded defense, pro quarterbacks will challenge his coverage at the next level. Like all Saban cornerbacks, he was not taught or asked to backpedal in college, and will need to develop new technique and footwork. Can lose track of the ball in the air and will mistime his plays on the ball.

NFL Comparison

Carlos Rogers

Bottom Line

Overshadowed by his high-profile teammates like fellow corner Dre Kirkpatrick over the span of two seasons, Milliner has made plays when given the chance (six interceptions, 38 pass break-ups in three years starting). He is ready to use his pro-ready size, athleticism and change-of-direction ability to become a household name in the NFL after winning back-to-back BCS Championships at Alabama. Milliner’s role grew extensively as a junior, and he showed the skills to be a first-round pick in the NFL.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
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