Two days ago, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner predicted he'd shut up detractors with Tuesday's workout at the NFL Scouting Combine. Score one for Milliner, who ran so well he solidified a spot near the top of the board.
Milliner will undergo shoulder surgery next month, but that won't keep him from attracting suitors. He's the best cornerback in a passing game, and that makes him valuable. It also makes him a top-5 pick in my first installment of this year's mock draft.
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1. Kansas City -- Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M: The Chiefs won't take a quarterback here, and coach Andy Reid likes linemen. This is the best tackle in the draft.
2. Jacksonville -- Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida: His stock is rising so fast most persons consider him one of the top players on the board. Jacksonville must repair a ruptured defense, and he'll help.
3. Oakland -- Chance Warmack, G, Alabama: Guards aren't supposed to go this high, but Warmack is special. He's a mauler who engulfs opponents, and the Raiders could use someone like that.
4. Philadelphia -- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama: He promised to impress with Tuesday's workout, and he did. He'll undergo a March 12 surgery for a torn labrum, then take two months to recover.
6. Cleveland -- Dion Jordan, LB, Oregon: The Browns are moving to a 3-4 and need an outside pass rush. Jordan is an attractive prospect with an intriguing skill set.
9. N.Y. Jets -- Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas: The Jets could go almost anywhere with this pick, but with both their safeties unsigned I'd start here.
10. Tennessee -- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah: He shouldn't be here, but concerns about his heart may drop him. If he checks out, he's a steal at this position.
12. Miami -- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee: The Dolphins think they have a franchise quarterback. So get him a franchise wide receiver. This may be that guy.
14. Carolina --Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri: It's all about defense in Carolina where the Panthers must start winning to keep Ron Rivera around.
15. New Orleans -- Barkevious Mingo, LB, LSU: This spot probably is way late for him, but with the Saints going to a 3-4 he could fit in as the outside pass rusher they've been missing.
16. St. Louis -- Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: He's small, and a scout I know once told me at his size "he better be able to walk on water." He can't, but he's explosive and productive and just what the Rams need in a third-down weapon.
17. Pittsburgh -- Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia: He shouldn't fall this far. He could be the best player in the draft, but concerns about his back make scouts nervous.
18. Dallas -- D. J. Fluker, T, Alabama: The Cowboys must -- absolutely must -- find more offensive-line help, and this is someone who could lock down their right-tackle position.
21. Cincinnati --Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia: He's a top-10 talent, but there are concerns about his character. The Bengals need linebackers, and character never seemed to bother them. That makes this a fit.
22. St. Louis -- Jonathan Cooper, G, UNC: The Rams need offensive line help, and Cooper is the second-best guard in the draft. He could go earlier, but is a perfect fit for St. Louis if he's here.
23. Minnesota -- Keenan Allen, WR, Cal: Figure on the Vikings taking the best wide receiver available to them, and this is the ticket.
24. Indianapolis -- Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State: The Colts drafted for offense last year. They must start on the other side now, and finding someone who can play inside or out is a start.
26. Green Bay -- Damontre Moore, LB, Texas A&M: Another guy who shouldn't fall this far. The Packers had all sorts of problems holding the edge vs. San Francisco. An upgrade is needed.
27. Houston -- Robert Woods, WR, USC: There must be someone to operate opposite Andre Johnson, and Woods' productivity is hard to ignore.
29. New England -- Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington: Figure any cornerback works for these guys. One of these days the Pats will find a cornerback in the draft that sticks.
30. Atlanta -- Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford: I don't know if Tony Gonzalez retires, but I know he's close. So find a suitable replacements, and Ertz fits the description.
31. San Francisco -- Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State: The secondary hurt San Francisco in the playoffs, particularly the cornerbacks, and help is needed.
32. Baltimore -- Kevin Minter, LB, LSU: Manti Te'o hurt his draft stock at the combine, and I can't see the Ravens going in his direction. At this point, Minter looks like the better prospect.
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