Kathy Willens/Associated Press
As a rookie cornerback out of Alabama, Jets cornerback Dee Milliner’s first NFL season was the very definition of inconsistent.
Starting 13 games, Milliner made things relatively difficult on opposing signal-callers, allowing them to complete just 51.5 percent on their pass attempts in his area, the 14th-best mark in the league, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
In addition, Milliner picked off three passes and recorded 11 passes defensed.
But, for as good as he was, he had his deficiencies.
Opposing receivers racked up 770 yards (14.5 yards per reception) and seven touchdowns on passes thrown in his direction. Only three players—former Vikings and current 49er Chris Cook, Cleveland’s Buster Skrine and Indianapolis’ Vontae Davis—allowed more touchdowns in coverage.
With most players, especially guys with the upside that Milliner possesses—and he has the combination of athleticism, size and strength to be a lockdown corner—that inconsistency gets corrected over time.
The departure of Antonio Cromartie now makes Milliner the face of the Jets secondary, which also added rookie free safety Calvin Pryor, a player who reminds me of a bigger Bob Sanders, in the first round of the NFL draft.
Milliner’s arrow looks to be trending upward, especially considering all three of his interceptions occurred in the final two weeks of the regular season.
Look for him to have an impressive second season, especially in a division with quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and EJ Manuel prone to making ill-advised throws.