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Report: League personnel think Milliner reports part of “smear campaign” to lower draft stock

Dee Milliner

Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)


‘Tis the season for misinformation with the NFL draft just three days away and Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner could be the latest prospect to find himself in the crosshairs.

A report came out Monday saying that Milliner may not be ready for the start of training camp as he continues to recover from a surgery to his labrum following the NFL combine. If true, it’s increasingly more likely that Milliner, considered the top defensive back in the draft, could slip during the first round on Thursday night.

However, the validity of that information may be tough to determine this close to the draft. In fact, those around the NFL are already questioning it.

Teams have known about these surgeries all along,” a source told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “They haven’t been a secret and this is not a big issue.”

Per Cabot, those she has talked to believe the negative reports are part of a smear campaign against Milliner in hopes of dropping his draft stock. A team hopeful to snag Milliner later in the draft could be pushing the narrative of his recovery not going to plan in hopes teams would shy away at the last-minute.

However, with all the medical checks prospects undergo during the lead up to the draft - Milliner was evaluated again by league personnel at the combine re-check just three weeks ago - teams should feel very comfortable about their evaluation of his medicals. It would be a surprise to see his stock slide considerably at this stage in the process.