Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
They will never admit it, but the first three months of Dee Milliner's NFL career had to make the Jets brass uneasy about their decision to use their most valuable asset in the draft to add him to the roster.
The former ninth overall selection from the 2013 draft was benched on three separate occasions. Had it not have been for his status as a first-round pick, Milliner would have been cut in training camp.
However, Milliner was able to turn his turbulent rookie season around with a stellar stretch of games in December to close the season. He notched three interceptions in three games and stopped giving up big plays at an alarming rate.
After shutting down Mike Wallace in Week 17, Milliner appeared to be finally giving the Jets a return on their first-round investment.
Milliner's initial struggles were expected, as he was not taught proper NFL techniques, such as backpedaling, at Alabama. His struggles were exacerbated by a shoulder injury that sidelined him for a chunk of training camp.
Now, Milliner has finally begun to be more comfortable using his new techniques in a live game situation. With a full offseason of development ahead, Milliner can only get better from this point onward.