The 2013 NFL draft just got interesting regarding the cornerback position.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Alabama's Dee Milliner will reportedly have surgery after the combine:
Alabama’s Dee Milliner, projected to be top CB in draft, will undergo surgery on torn labrum in rt shoulder after combine. More at ESPN. com— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 21, 2013
In addition, according to Schefter, following the news:
"The doctors have informed us that he will be 100 percent and fully recovered in time for training camp in July," said Tony Fleming, one of Milliner's reps with Impact Sports. "We will be providing all NFL clubs information prior to surgery and updates close to the draft."
Milliner suffered the injury at some point last season and played through it. It will not prevent him from participating in this week's combine, but it will sideline him from Alabama's pro day.
So, this provides other cornerbacks an opportunity to shine even brighter during the combine and their respective pro days. Will Milliner remain the top corner when late April rolls around?
Well let's check out those capable of getting selected ahead of him in Round 1.
Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Possessing solid size and playmaking skills, Johnthan Banks is worthy of a top-15 selection.
As his college career unfolded, though, Banks also became a more reliable tackler and capable of forcing fumbles. Finishing with 41 defended passes, 15 picks, five forced fumbles and 221 tackles, the guy will lock down in man or zone.
Courtesy of his length and physical play, Banks is also great for press coverage and rolling up late to disguise his look. In short, that also makes him dependable for edge run support and the occasional corner blitz.
Desmond Trufant, Washington
Desmond Trufant isn't as physical of a defender in controlling the line of scrimmage like Banks, but he is capable of jamming receivers at the line. Combine that physical potential with quickness and fast reactionary skills and Trufant will generate turnovers.
In four seasons for the Huskies, Trufant defended 38 passes and recorded six picks and 195 tackles.
Provided he develops more consistency as a press defender, though, Trufant will hit another level. He already has the top speed and competitiveness to catch up if initially beat, so few yards will occur after the catch should he not break it up.
Regardless, his natural instincts and awareness will suit nicely in Cover 3 or from the slot.
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
Xavier Rhodes is one of the bigger cornerbacks this draft. And that is a great competitive advantage in pro football.
Since the NFL is a pass-oriented league, the stronger and more physically imposing corners can make a quicker transition. As for Rhodes, his 31 defended passes, eight picks and 140 tackles in three seasons displays his ultimate talent.
The guy can press from inside or outside leverage, while also shifting inside to shield tight ends at the intermediate level. Now Rhodes does need to improve in zone, but his size and strength will reroute receiving targets and keep him in position to make plays.
Plus his physical tools will come in handy against run-balanced offenses.