2013 NFL Draft Predictions: Landing Spots for Dee Milliner and Other Top CBs

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMarch 14, 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 terrific fit with the Philadelphia Eagles, which own the No. 4 overall pick of the NFL draft.

As free agency rolls along, the landscape of the 2013 NFL draft is beginning to take shape, which helps us see where the top cornerbacks like Milliner are most likely to end up.

Predicting what NFL teams will do in April is always an exercise in futility though, as teams hardly ever do what most "experts" expect them to do. 

That said, it's fun to try and put the jigsaw puzzle together.

Here is where the top cornerbacks could be headed on April 25, when the NFL draft kicks off at the famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City. 


Dee Milliner, Philadelphia Eagles (No. 4 Overall)

The consensus best overall cornerback in 2013, Milliner combines elite speed with prototypical size (6'0" and 201 pounds), fluid hips and excellent ball skills. 

He wowed scouts at the combine, running the 40 in 4.37 seconds, which was the second-fastest official time of any cornerback in Indy. With that display of raw speed, Milliner cemented his status as the best corner in the draft and a probable top-five pick.

During his senior season at Alabama, Milliner showed off his abilities on a weekly basis, tallying 1.5 sacks, four tackles for a loss, two interceptions and 22 defended passes.

Philadelphia has made a couple of moves in free agency that facilitate this move.

First, the team released veteran Nnamdi Asomugha (via the Eagles official Twitter account). Then, Philadelphia acquired free-agent cornerback Bradley Fletcher (h/t the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas). 

Finally, the Eagles saw Dominique Rogers-Cromartie leave to the Denver Broncos via free agency (h/t ESPN's Adam Schefter). 

Fletcher is a good player, but he's not a No. 1 cornerback. This means that the team really needs to upgrade its secondary, and Milliner is the man for the job.


Xavier Rhodes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 13 Overall)

Rhodes has been an intriguing prospect since the beginning of the 2012 season. 

He's a physically  imposing young man, at 6'1" and 210 pounds, and Rhodes excels in man-to-man coverage.

The biggest question scouts had about him was whether or not he had enough long speed to keep up with the NFL's top receivers downfield. The former Seminoles star answered that question with a 4.43-second 40 at the combine, and he will be highly coveted by teams that like to press-cover on the edges.

The Buccaneers feature an impressive array of young talent, and the team recently upgraded its secondary by signing safety Dashon Goldson (h/t Schefter), but there is no doubt that the team that gave up the most passing yards in the NFL last year needs physical cornerbacks to complement the players already on the roster.

Adding Rhodes would be a phenomenal move.


Desmond Trufant, Indianapolis Colts (No. 24 Overall)

Trufant went under the national radar for most of the 2012 season playing for Washington, but his stock took off like a rocket at the Senior Bowl.

It's been climbing ever since.

A man-to-man specialist with a feisty attitude, Trufant was easily the best cornerback in Mobile, Alabama for the entire week of practices and during the game. Then, he lit up the track at the combine, posting a 40 time of 4.38 seconds—just one-hundredth of a second slower than Milliner.

The Colts are an up-and-coming team with firepower on the offensive side of the ball, and the team has already made some nice moves to upgrade its defense in free agency.

Adding a lockdown corner like Trufant makes too much sense for it not to happen, and should he join up with the Colts, he'll be an instant starter on a defense that is trending up in a big way.


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