Kevin C. Cox
Will Dee Milliner fall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? If so, he's a likely slam-dunk selection.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to desperately upgrade their cornerback position this offseason, but they'll have trouble doing so in the first round of the draft. Dee Milliner is the only cornerback easily worth a mid first-round pick, as the Bucs hold the 13th overall pick. But Milliner is likely to be gone by the time the Bucs get around to making their selection, which would leave them selecting either Johnathan Banks or Xavier Rhodes. Neither Banks nor Rhodes may be the best player on the board, and the team may be better off selecting a better overall player eschewing the cornerback position for another position.
It seems Mocking the Draft has found the right answer, though: they simply have Dee Milliner falling to number 13. The Alabama product would be a great addition to what was a very weak secondary last season. Here's what Dan Kadar had to say about the selection:
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Milliner is the best cornerback in the draft and no one is arguing it. He has good size and is physical in all areas of the game. Tampa Bay finally needs to go after a great cornerback early in the draft. It's conceivable that they double up on the position this year.
How did that fall happen in this scenario? It featured two quarterbacks in the top 12, but I would assume a few more are likely to be selected in that range. We saw three top 12 quarterbacks last season, and four the season before that. Although this isn't a stellar quarterback draft, it isn't bad per se: it just doesn't have the standout players like Andrew Luck and Cam Newton. But it does have plenty of quarterbacks who compare with Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Tannehill and Christian Ponder.
The other feature is an abundance of lineman on both offense and defense. All ten of the non-quarterbacks selected in this mock draft before the Bucs make their pick are offensive or defensive linemen. That trend actually continues throughout the first round as a deep and high-quality group of linemen on both sides of the ball appears to take over the draft. Will the Bucs take advantage by getting a quality cornerback at a bit of a discount -- or will they dip into the pool of linemen themselves?