The NY Jets have had their fair share of draft busts over the years. From outright duds like Vernon Gholston and Quinton Coples to others who just never lived up to expectations like Leonard Williams, the Jets have had no shortage of draft mishaps.
More so in recent years, the first round has not been kind to the Jets. Following the Sam Darnold trade, no player the Jets have drafted in the first round prior to the 2019 NFL Draft remains on the roster.
The last decade has been particularly discouraging for the Jets, but perhaps one name stands out amongst them all — cornerback Dee Milliner.
Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay recently released an article listing every NFL team’s worst draft pick of the past decade. And Milliner earned the unfortunate distinction of being the nominee for the Jets.
That’s over the likes of Kyle Wilson, Calvin Pryor, Darron Lee, and the aforementioned Coples who were all selected during the decade of the 2010s. According to Kay, Milliner stands out amongst them all.
Dee Milliner was a massive bust for the NY Jets
Milliner entered the NFL with considerable hype after a standout career at Alabama. Many touted him as one of the best players in the 2013 NFL Draft class with some mocks even projecting him as high as the top-three prior to the draft.
He ultimately fell all the way to the ninth overall selection where the Jets made him their first of two first-round picks that year, along with defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.
Although Richardson departed New York after just four seasons, it’s safe to say that he’s enjoyed a more successful career than his fellow draftee.
Milliner started 12 of 13 games in his rookie season, enduring his share of rookie growing pains. However, he finished the year strong recording three interceptions in the final two games of the season earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors.
Unfortunately, he would go on to play just eight more games in his brief NFL career.
An ankle sprain kept Milliner out of training camp in 2014 and upon his return, he suffered a torn Achilles which ended his sophomore season after just three games.
His 2015 season was marred by yet another injury as offseason wrist surgery limited him to just five games. By the time the 2016 season rolled around, Milliner had played just 21 of 48 possible games.
The Jets declined his fifth-year option before he landed on injured reserve yet again. This time would be his last as he was released by the team before the end of September.
Somewhat incredibly, Milliner never even made it to training camp with another NFL team.
Injuries ultimately tanked Milliner’s career, but it was always going to be difficult for him to live up to the lofty expectations placed upon him. The Darrelle Revis comparisons certainly didn’t do him any favors.
Is he the biggest Jets bust of the past decade? It’s certainly plausible, especially given how high he was selected and the expectations that followed him to the NFL.
Dee Milliner will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the biggest draft duds in NY Jets history.