Draft close-up: CB Dee Milliner

Wrapping up our close ups ...

Player: Dee Milliner, first round

School: Alabama

Position: Cornerback

Projected impact: You don't pick a player ninth overall and expect him to sit on the bench. Milliner will start opposite Antonio Cromartie, it's just a matter of when. A lot could hinge on his health, as he underwent labrum surgery in March. That could keep him out of full drills until training camp, so we're talking about potential conditioning issues. He also may have to play catch-up in terms of grasping the playbook.


On the advantage of playing for Alabama in terms of being ready for the NFL: "I think it helps out a lot. Just to have a coach [Nick Saban] who has coached in the NFL, he knows what to expect, what NFL teams look at and players. And then the way we go about trying to get better each day and the way offensive and defensive schemes are, I think it's an NFL type. And so that just prepares us well and the caliber, SEC, that we go up against each week."

On how he was able to play despite his injuries (five surgeries): "Oh man, because all of the surgeries were nothing. They were nothing major, all of them were minor. And then, I don’t like to miss games. I just try to go out there, if I’m in the game, and play like I don’t have any injuries. I like to go out there. You have to make a sacrifice, so I sacrifice if I have an injury, but I’m going to go out there and play in the game."

On his torn labrum: "No, it wasn’t that bad. My arm wasn’t hanging off or anything like that, or broken, so I can go out there and do something."

On playing in Rex Ryan's system: "For me, I know it will be good because he’s a hard-nosed coach. You know, just like I come from a system that I was involved in at Alabama, he’s going to be hard on you, on his players. And then, at corner, he likes to be aggressive and in your face, press them up. And so that fits the same thing that I did, I’m used to, so I just know I’ll fit in with him."

On a style comparison to any other cornerback in the NFL: "No, I just like get some things from other corners, I won’t compare anything. I just know watching like Champ Bailey, Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, and of course, Darrelle Revis. I just look at those guys and see what they do well and try to learn from them."