The NFL Draft is just a week away, but it appears as though some teams are engaging in an age old tactic to get a guy they want to fall within reach of their pick. Earlier on Monday afternoon it was reported that Alabama Crimson Tide cornerback Dee Milliner may not be ready for camp thanks to a medical report that questioned his medical history. But according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, this is apparently a ruse to get Milliner to potentially fall out of the top 10 and into the laps of teams drooling over the prospect of drafting him.
Several league sources believe the reports are a smear campaign to devalue Milliner before the draft.”Teams have known about these surgeries all along,” a source said. “They haven’t been a secret and this is not a big issue.”
This report directly contradicts a similar report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who fired back on The Mort Report saying this isn’t “misinformation” which is being released to try and force Milliner out of the top 10.
“There is some concern out there about Milliner and his medical history,” Mortensen said. “And it’s not misinformation, not trying to make a guy fall down [the draft] because all teams have this same information.”
According to Milliner himself, who spoke with the Plain Dealer, the cornerback is recovering from surgery but he’s expected to be fully ready to enter training camp for whoever ends up drafting him.
Reports also circulated Monday that Milliner might not be ready for training camp because of the labrum repair. He told The Plain Dealer last week that he “should be full strength for training camp or sometime in August at the latest.”
The bottom line is, whether Milliner is injured or not likely won’t hurt his draft status with potential suitors. Milliner is without a doubt the best defensive back prospect in his class, and teams know what they’re getting in him. Smear campaign or not, expect Milliner to be selected no later than sixth overall to the Browns and if he slips past Cleveland, he won’t fall much further before someone takes him or trades up to select him.