Alabama's Dee Milliner is projected as the nation's top cornerback prospect in this year's NFL draft. The potential top-5 pick has announced he will undergo shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Milliner will have the surgery after the scouting combine. He still has every intention of taking part in all aspects of the combine.
An injury like this could potentially plummet Milliner's draft stock, but since he still plans on going through every workout during the combine, teams will still be able to see his skill set. However, he will not participate in the bench press.
The combine will be important for Milliner since he will most likely not be fully healed in time to participate in Alabama's Pro Day on March 13. It is unclear when Milliner suffered the injury. It happened at some point during Alabama's season and he played through it. There is optimism that he will be available at the start of training camps in late July.
"The doctors have informed us that he will be 100 percent and fully recovered in time for training camp in July. We will be providing all NFL clubs information prior to surgery and updates close to the draft," said Impact Sports rep Tony Fleming.
The 6-foot-1, 198-pound cornerback has decided to enter the draft early as a junior and not finish out his senior year at Alabama. As a consensus AP First-Team All-American, Milliner led the nation in passes defensed with 22. He amassed 34 solo tackles on the season. Team's have been drawn to Milliner due to his ability to not only defend the pass, but his ability to hit the box and stop the run. The only question surrounding Milliner is his speed and ability to cover quick receivers. The 40-yard dash will be crucial at combine for him.
The need for a cornerback is high in this year's draft. One of the reason's Milliner is projected at such a high pick is many teams will be looking to that position as a need for their team. Team's such as the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets have all been rumored to be interested in Alabama standout player. His skill set can be easily compared to Darrelle Revis of the Jets or Chicago's Charles Tillman.
While Milliner heals from the injury, it will allow other cornerbacks in the draft to shine. The shoulder surgery should will have little hinderance on where he will be drafted. As long as he runs an above standard 40 time, his status as a top-five pick will not change.