Dee Milliner saw himself on the bench in the second half of last night's loss to the Patriots after repeatedly being beaten deep not only against the Patriots but also in Week 1 against the Bucs. The question now is whether this is a temporary arrangement or whether Milliner's playing time going forward will be curtailed.
Looking back at Rex Ryan's past, it could signal the start of something bigger. The last time the Jets had a rookie first round corner was 2010. Kyle Wilson began the year as the nickel. He slid into a starting role Week 2 when Darrelle Revis was injured. Wilson looked as lost as Milliner has. Eventually he lost his job to Drew Coleman and saw his playing time severely curtailed for the rest of his rookie season.
I was a bit surprised to see the Jets lean on Milliner as much as they have. Cornerback is generally considered a position where it takes rookies time to adjust. The opponents are bigger, faster, and stronger. On a defense like the Jets have where corners are frequently left with little help on difficult assignments and the back of the defense can be complicated, it can be even more difficult. The Jets on paper had the kind of depth that would allow Milliner to ease his way into the NFL. He could play easier assignments in subpackages, learn on the practice field, and adjust to life in the NFL.
At this point, he probably is no better than the fourth best cornerback on the roster. That doesn't necessarily resign him to bust status. While I'm sure the Jets would like to see more from him at this point, there are many quality cornerbacks who looked totally overmatched as rookies. The Jets might want to take a step back here. It feels like they might have fallen into the trap of believing they had to play Milliner or that he was ready simply because he was a top ten pick.