Once Darelle Revis left the New York Jets, it was suspected that they would select a cornerback in the draft. Once the Jets selected a cornerback in the draft, it was assumed that he would have to fill the shoes of Revis. Makes sense, right? Wrong.
Dee Milliner has everything it takes to be a star cornerback in the NFL. He has blazing speed that will allow him to run with anyone in the open field, and his size is ideal. But he’s no Revis. And luckily for him, he doesn’t have to be. The Jets simply drafted Milliner out of necessity. They felt thin at the cornerback spot with Revis gone, but they aren’t anticipating Milliner to fill such enormous shoes. In fact, if anyone has to fill Revis’ shoes it’s actually Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie will now line up against number one receivers every week, which he got plenty of experience doing when Revis went down with a torn ACL.
For the majority of 2012, Cromartie anchored a Jets secondary that ranked second in the league against the pass. And he was absolutely phenomenal. If Cromartie plays the way he did in 2012, then he’ll force more throws at the cornerback opposite him. It looks like that will be Milliner.
Cromartie gets bumped up a spot with Revis gone and Milliner comes in to take over the number two spot. Quite simply, he won’t have the same amount of responsibility that Revis had but he’ll still be very important. It’s unfair to say that the Jets essentially traded Revis for Milliner, though.
Milliner is an investment just like any other player on the roster. One day he may be relied upon to anchor the Jets’ secondary, but for now he’s just another piece of the puzzle. If he wins out the number two spot, which he should, he has to be ready to see plenty of action in his first year. A successful rookie campaign for Milliner could result in the Jets being one of the toughest defenses to throw against. But either way, there will be no reason to compare him to Revis.