NFL Draft 2013: Ideal Landing Spots for Top Defenders in Draft

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 24:  Dee Milliner #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide returns a fumble by Tre Mason #21 of the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Dee Milliner would be a phenomenal acquisition for the Philadelphia Eagles with the No. 4 pick of the 2013 NFL draft.

Milliner is one of the top defenders in the 2013 draft class, along with Sharrif Floyd and Dion Jordan. All three players are capable of becoming dominant players in the NFL, and all three could be potential top-five picks.

Where they will land will have some bearing on how successful they become early in their careers. With that in mind, let's take a look at the ideal landing spots for these talented young men.


Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama

The top cornerback in this year's draft, Milliner boosted his already high draft stock with a blazing-fast 40 time of 4.37 seconds at the combine this past February.

The young star from Alabama possesses ideal size for a No. 1 cornerback, too. At 6'0" and 201 pounds, he has the size to jam bigger receivers at the line, yet his speed also allows him to stick with smaller, shifty receivers in open space.

Milliner also has excellent ball skills, as his two interceptions and 22 passes defended last year at Alabama clearly illustrates. 


Ideal Landing Spots

  • Philadelphia Eagles (No. 4 overall): Chip Kelly is a competent head coach who understands how to get the most out of his players. The Eagles also have a desperate need for secondary help, meaning Milliner will get a chance to start right away. 
  • Cleveland Browns (No. 6 overall): Ray Horton is one of the league's best defensive coordinators. He's implementing the same 3-4 scheme he ran in Arizona and drafting Milliner to pair with Joe Haden would give the Browns one of the best young duos in the NFL. 


Sharrif Floyd, Defensive Tackle, Florida

Floyd has surged ahead of Star Lotulelei, Sheldon Richardson and the rest of the defensive tackles in this year's draft class in the past month or so to become the top prospect in the draft.

At 6'3" and 297 pounds, Floyd is a dynamic, disruptive player who projects as an ideal three-technique defensive tackle. Some have suggested that he could play in a 3-4 defense as a five-technique end, but his skill set seems better suited for 4-3 schemes.

Floyd is strong in both his upper and lower body, and he uses his hands well when disengaging from blocks, which is why he's such a disruptive force in the middle.

He'll spend just as much time in opponents' backfields as he will on his own side of the line of scrimmage, and one lucky team will have an instant starter in 2013.


Ideal Landing Spots

  • Oakland Raiders (No. 3 overall): Oakland is rebuilding its roster from the ground up under general manager Reggie McKenzie. The team runs a 4-3 scheme, and Floyd would be an instant upgrade over the current talent the team has on its roster. If Desmond Bryant is retained as a free agent, the two of them would wreak havoc on opposing offenses in 2013.
  • Buffalo Bills (No. 8 overall): Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams are both terrific when healthy, but Williams is reported to need surgery on his right Achilles tendon (h/t's Chris Brown). Adding a dominant tackle like Floyd would be insurance against the aging Williams and give Buffalo another blue-chip defender.


Dion Jordan, Outside Linebacker (3-4), Oregon

One of the most fluid athletes at any position in this year's draft, Jordan is an exceptionally gifted pass-rusher who is also adept at playing in space. His hips are incredibly flexible, and the former wide receiver/tight end will be a nightmare for opposing offenses in the NFL. 

Jordan posted the third-fastest 40 time of any defensive lineman at the combine in February, running it in 4.60 seconds. He also posted top-five marks in the broad jump and 20-yard shuttle, showing off incredible short-burst abilities and rare change-of-direction skills. 

NFL Network's Mike Mayock compared him to a young Aldon Smith, which is high praise, indeed. He's going to be a hot commodity when the draft kicks off in April, but where will he land?


Ideal Landing Spots

  • Philadelphia Eagles (No. 4 overall): The former Oregon star could well end up reunited with his college coach. The Eagles have not yet revealed what defensive scheme they'll be running in 2013, but the new coordinator, Billy Davis, is a 3-4 guy. Adding Jordan would allow the Eagles to make the transition.
  • New York Jets (No. 9 overall): The Cleveland Browns are reportedly going hard after Paul Kruger and Cliff Avril in free agency (h/t the Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot), meaning they are likely going to go in a different direction in the draft. That leaves the Jets as the next 3-4 team in need of a pass-rusher. 


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