Brandt: Milliner appears ready for break-out season

On NFL.com, senior analyst Gil Brandt lists out his top ten candidates for a break-out season from the 2013 draft class. The Jets picked cornerback Dee Milliner No. 9 in last year’s draft and Brandt notes that after a rocky start, things got better down the stretch:

[He] really showed something toward the end of the season, specifically in Weeks 16 and 17. In those two games, Milliner broke up 10 passes — that’s practically unheard of, the equivalent of having four interceptions in one game — and snagged three picks … Being viewed by many as the replacement for Darrelle Revis didn’t make Milliner’s rookie year any easier. While I don’t know if you can ever truly replace Revis, Milliner has turned it around, and I think he has a better-than-average chance of making the Pro Bowl within the next two years.

Bonus Link: On the subject of cornerbacks, PFF takes a look at the numbers for slot corners, with Kyle Wilson in among the league leaders.

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

As I’ve already mentioned this year, I’ll be writing about Dee Milliner in detail soon, hopefully in May. While we always anticipated he would make a slow start, as is usually the case with cornerbacks that played for Nick Saban, it cannot be understated how startling the difference in his performance was between the start and end of the season. Milliner barely got close to making a play on the ball in the first half of the season as he struggled to adjust to the nuances of the pro game following a disrupted offseason campaign. However, down the stretch he was consistently breaking up passes, as noted by Brandt in his comments above.

Milliner is not the finished article yet, but held his own well in December as the light-bulb appeared to come on for him. If Milliner can continue to improve at the same rate, then Brandt’s pro bowl prediction has a good chance of coming true.

As for Wilson, his numbers are certainly good, although there were admittedly a few times where he got lucky. However, this does put into perspective how his performance stacks up with other slot cornerbacks around the league. It will be interesting to see whether his role expands this year and whether the Jets intend to keep him in their plans with his rookie contract set to expire at the end of the season.

The most incredible stat of the season from Wilson was that he was penalty-free in 15 of the 16 games. The only exception was the Bills game in week three where he had five total penalties, including four on consecutive plays. That brings us neatly back to Milliner who had zero penalties – the only cornerback in the NFL to play more than 600 snaps without getting flagged.




68 comments
metjetnet
metjetnet

(miketaliaferro) Anybody But Wilson...

Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

All the TV suits say the Jets should pick a WR as their first pick.

On the topic of "analysts", lay folks like us do better at picking winners on Sunday, than these "not held accountable" guys.

They are at less than .500, and so what?  They get their huge checks regardless.

One week last season, the entire ESPN crew  went against the Jets except Ditka.

Ditka was right!

Joan Israel
Joan Israel

Marijuana? Bongs? The same question immediately arose for me previously with Lamar Odum and his heroin habit: where is the drug testing? These football players, and Mr. Odum as well, don't appear very concerned about flunking any tests. The conclusion I draw is that it must be evident to players that passing the test -- being 'clean' -- is not difficult.


Sometime sure is fishy.


Jim Israel

Bent
Bent moderator

The Kaepernick story is a bit weird and maybe not what it seems from the headlines flying around.   I think I'll reserve judgment on that one.


Not even going to attempt to summarize it.  Go read this if you're interested: http://t.co/h7ErLYzsrC



williamg1
williamg1

Milliner will make the Probowl before Sheldon Richardson. 

And that isn't a knock on Richardson. 

Stanley Bostitch
Stanley Bostitch

Wonder if this factored into not pursuing a top FA CB. Signing Davis or Verner to top money would indicate they were the new #1, with Milliner moving over to cover the #2 guy. Perhaps the Jets brass believe they have that #1 already. If Milliner plays at week 16/17 level for a full season then we do have "the next Revis" on the team.

J. Smooth
J. Smooth

I've become very high on Bashaud Breeland, he could be perfect for us at 49.

Anthony Perez
Anthony Perez

Off topic but collin kap is being investigated for sexual assault... Via tmz

Marvel
Marvel

Get McGill or Baptiste in the 4th and we are set.. no first round CB please.  



*no penalties by D-Mill Is amazing


gusto
gusto

You get a top notch corner at 18 to pair with Milliner and Wilson on the back end along with that D Line of ours? Then we'd really be cooking with gas.

I would probably go receiver at 18 with Marqise Lee since Brandin Cooks is likely a top 17 guy at this point, but Kyle Fuller and Darqueze Dennard would be hard to pass up on if they're available. The idea of two potential top 10 corners with our top 2 D-Line is enticing, but so is a Lee/Decker/Kerley tandem.

joemustgo
joemustgo

So, where are all the geniuses who were convinced he was a bust after half a season?

gbrownn
gbrownn

I'm just not sure how to feel about Kyle Wilson. PFF had him ranked #1 in the rankings but he just doesn't make enough plays for me. Is his really that good and I'm just not seeing it. His ranking is kind of an enigma to me. If he wasn't the number 1 corner I'd say he was expendable. Am I just looking into PFF ranking too much? He doesn't get his hands on alot of balls and I rarely if ever find myself saying "great play Kyle" I just don't know how to feel about his ranking. Hows everybody else feel about Wilson?

odovacer
odovacer

It is interesting that besides the Bills game Wilson had 0 penalties, he certainly seemed to give zero f*%ks at the time so its good to know he tightened everything up and did not let people get in his head (I am sure people saw that game and tried to provoke him in later games). The fact that Milliner had zero penalties is impressive to me for a rookie, especially as much as they seemed to force him to play before he was truly ready. As many BS calls as I have seen Cro and Revis get called for over time, how did these two manage to not get flagged? Easier WRs to cover? Not playing as aggressive? Luck?

xplr
xplr

I sure hope this is true. He looked totally lost midway through the season but did come on at the end. I think it is extremely risky to project him as the corner covering the other team's top receiver at this point.

Wilkershakes
Wilkershakes

The way Milliner played to end the season was monumental to his confidence and mentality coming into this upcoming offseason camp.  Expect even more progress at the start of this season.

bobbyj
bobbyj

I have a feeling were gonna end up w/that Ha Ha cat, just call it a hunch

jetlife
jetlife

@Joan Israel  "Being clean" is difficult for some people. And comparing a bong rip to a heroin addict?! WHAT?!

Bent
Bent moderator

@Joan Israel  


As I understand it, if you're not on the testing list (because you were clean throughout college), you can get away without getting tested for a big chunk of the year.  I'd assume something like this would land Kaep on that list from now on though, as would the marijuana references in respect of Pouncey and Jerry in the leaked Incognito/Martin texts.


...and then you have synthetic marijuana for anyone who is on the list and doesn't want to trigger a positive test.

williamg1
williamg1

@Bent  That is some BS. 


She accused him of kissing and undressing her. But this happened AFTER they had already had prior consensual sex. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@williamg1  He'll probably make it before Mo too.

Vincent Winner
Vincent Winner

@Stanley Bostitch  I'm pretty sure the Jets see Milliner as the #1 at this point and I think they should given all the points outlined in this post.

a57se
a57se

@J. Smooth  

I think rex will like him very much....not sure if we go for him in the second round....may well be available in the third.....

j3tsfan29
j3tsfan29

Yea he's charged with rape and battery on the entire packers defense! Bazing!

a57se
a57se

@Marvel  

I don't think we look at either of those guys.....

I spent a lot of time looking at CB's recently and I think the ones Rex will really like are the following:

Dennard, Verret, Bashaad Breeland, Antone Exum, Nevin Lawson......

These guys stand out to me because of the style of player they are and I think that matches what rex likes in corners.

Wilkershakes
Wilkershakes

@gbrownn  He doesn't make the game changing interceptions, but I think it's more that he doesn't take the gambles and keeps the plays in front of him (well, slot coverage "in front").  That's the trait I'd want in a slot corner and doesn't leave the rest of the defense out to dry.  I'm definitely not as confident in him on the outside, but I really think his play has been overlooked.  I hope they do bring him back and sign him to a 3 year deal.  

WW85
WW85

@gbrownn  Kyle Wilson is ranked #1 on PFF??  I see him as #77?

odovacer
odovacer

@gbrownn  

I feel like I remember a good chunk of plays where Wilson was clearly beat quite badly (receiver would have ran 10-15 yards +) but the receiver stumbled or the pass was overthrown and nothing ever came of it. Perhaps I am mistaken, but it seems like he was above average overall, but got lucky enough times to boost his stats to be ranked as high as he is. Either way I would not say he is bad, just not the best.

Bent
Bent moderator

@odovacer  For Milliner it was definitely a case of not playing aggressively in the first part of the year, but he stepped that up later.  Some luck is also involved, I'd imagine.

ukjetsfan
ukjetsfan

@bobbyj  I'd be totally alright with Ha Ha - think he'd be a solid pick and could form a nice pairing with Allen

Anthony Perez
Anthony Perez

Prob just gets to their head, maybe they feel as though they can't be denied by anyone. I'm not saying he's guilty but these things do happen and to assume that he's guilt or not guilty isn't fair until all the facts come out.

bobbyj
bobbyj

Impossible to know, we have many holes, & I believe they will go best player available. I do not think that they will go WR in 1st rd. Too many misses on WR's in the 1st rd

1969JAN12th
1969JAN12th

@sir_manolo @a57se  Yes, you are right....and Bortles falling to #18....who makes this stuff up? By the time the draft rolls around we will be associated with picking every player in the top 50.

Marvel
Marvel

Thanks, I'll take a look at them later. 

gbrownn
gbrownn

@DJF  Maybe thats where my issue with him comes in, he's just fine. But PFF has him top 5. Idk I feel like as a defense we can do better than just fine. I wanna see him get his hands on some more balls. He justs appears to always be trailing whoever he's covering in my eyes. When he was at Boise he was this playmaking aggressive corner. And he's just not that player we drafted.

gbrownn
gbrownn

@WW85 Wasn't he the #1 slot corner? I could have sworn I saw that somewhere. I could be wrong but I'm almost positive

bobbyj
bobbyj

Not killing it, I have read good scouting stuff on Ha Ha, see what becomes

gbrownn
gbrownn

@Bent You were right I was confusing articles and stats. 77 seems about right for him. What was driving me crazy was how I "thought" they had at 1 when the play didn't match up. I'd like to see him play out his contract year hopefully he plays more like the  player he was in college.

Bent
Bent moderator

@gbrownn  


First off, to clear up the confusion, Wilson is #77 (for ALL corners) based on his GRADES and near the top for all slot corners for his NUMBERS.  The difference is that you can be graded down without the play being completed and hurting your numbers.  Obviously a penalty is one way to do this and another is if you get beat and the pass is bad or the receiver drops it.  As I noted in the original post, the latter happened to both Wilson (and it also happened to Milliner a lot early in the year) so their grades were worse than their numbers.


Wilson doesn't make many impact plays but doesn't make many disastrous mistakes either.  That's who he is right now - let's see how he responds in his contract year.

Bent
Bent moderator

@WW85 @Wilkershakes  No, I think the "tops among slot corners" stat you heard was probably the signature stats in the PFF article, but obviously he wasn't quite at the top by the end of the season.


His grades were unspectacular all year, but not terrible.