With two first-round selections Thursday night, the Jets landed two of the top four players on their board in Alabama CB Dee Milliner (No. 9 overall) and Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson (No. 13 overall).
"We were excited in the room to see both of those guys fall to us. They were no-brainers," NYJ director of college scouting Jeff Bauer told me late tonight. "Our fans will see both of them are going to be very, very good players for years to come."
The Jets — four days removed after trading Darrelle Revis to the Buccaneers — selected the top cornerback in the 2013 draft. Milliner started 29 games for Nick Saban at 'Bama and the 6'0," 201-pounder is a physical defender.
"He's a football player," Bauer said. "As corners go, he's physical, he'll tackle you and he'll hit you. There were reports that said he could play safety — that's how physical he is. I've seen him on the goal line and he'll come up and light the fullback up. You won't see too many corners like that."
The Green & White loved Milliner's versatility. He can play both inside and outside, and the corner can blitz from the nickel position as well.
"Then his movement skills, his instincts in coverage. He can play the ball," said Bauer. "I think he had 36 career break-ups. We went to the Combine and he stuck out. He was in class by himself with the peddle, the hip turn and he comes from Alabama."
Then four selections later, the Jets added a defensive lineman in the first round for a third consecutive year with Richardson.
"He's special athletic. For a kid that weighs 294 pounds, to be able to see how he can change direction, chase the ball down and he plays hard," Bauer said. "You don't see that combination very often and in the SEC, he causes havoc. He'll make a play on the sideline from his defensive tackle position, he'll make it in the backfield."