The SEC's best 25 players: No. 22

We're at No. 22 in our countdown today, which brings us to yet another outstanding cornerback at Alabama.

No. 22: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama, Jr.

2011 summary: A starter when the Crimson Tide went to their nickel and dime packages last season, Milliner led the team with three interceptions. He also tied for the team lead with 12 passes defended, which ranked him sixth in the SEC, and he finished with 27 total tackles.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2011 postseason countdown.

Making the case for Milliner: There are a number of players on Alabama's defensive roster just waiting to explode this season into All-SEC and maybe even All-America performers. The 6-foot-1, 199-pound Milliner is at the top of that list. He was excellent in what the Crimson Tide asked him to do last season as the third cornerback, and will play an even bigger role in the secondary this season. In a lot of ways, he has a chance to be this season's version of Dre Kirkpatrick, who blossomed into a first-round NFL draft pick a year ago. Even though he's a bigger corner, Milliner still has the speed to run with anybody. Rarely does a receiver run by him, and he's also a blur in getting to the line of scrimmage and helping in run support. Milliner has some serious hops, and can go up and take the ball away from opposing receivers. Look for him to be even more physical this season and become the kind of shutdown corner that has been a fixture in Alabama's secondary under Nick Saban.

The rundown