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Smoke Screen Alert: NFL Teams Have Some Doubts About Dee Milliner's Shoulder

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Teams are reportedly spooked by Milliner's shoulder injury, which might keep him out of training camp.

USA TODAY Sports

It's the Monday of NFL Draft Week! If there is smoke this week, chances are it not coming from any fire. Rather, this is the time when teams start playing disinformation games with one another, hoping to over-value or de-value certain draft prospects.

One such prospect could be Alabama corner Dee Milliner.

Just two weeks ago, the overwhelming consensus among draftniks had Milliner as the top corner in this year's draft class. He would go Top 5, easy!

Then, Tony Pauline reported that the Colts had scheduled a visit with Milliner. This prompted more than a few people, including Tony Pauline himself, to pretty much stop what they were doing and say out loud, "WTF?"

The Colts have the No. 24 all pick. Milliner is a top 5 prospect. Why would the Colts be interested in him?

Well, today we got a potential reason why, via Jeff McClane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Milliner has a torn labrum, an extremely painful shoulder injury. He ran at the NFL Scouting Combine with this injury, and posted an impressive 4.37 40 time.

However:

The 6-foot, 201-pound Milliner would likely start right away. He had shoulder surgery in March and may not be ready by training camp.

"We haven't been able to do the rehab like I want to because I've been going to different teams," Milliner said. "But once the draft is over, I'll be able to start to rehab it and try to get back on track."

The Eagles, who have the No. 4 overall pick, canceled a pre-draft workout with Milliner earlier in April.

In my mock draft, I have Milliner falling to the Steelers at No. 17. However, if medical examiners are informing general managers that Milliner's shoulder will not be fully rehabbed until after training camp - which opens up the possibility of Milliner missing preseason games - then his draft stock could sink significantly.

In fact, it could drop him down to Indianapolis at No. 24.

It remains to be seen if the shoulder injury is truly scaring off teams like the Eagles, or if it is a smoke screen; a falsely concocted bogeyman that potentially drops Milliner out of the Top 10 and into the waiting arms of a team like Miami, Pittsburgh, or Indianapolis.