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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Joe Milton III (QB – Tennessee)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Joe Milton III (QB – Tennessee)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Joe Milton III

Joe Milton III (QB – Tennessee)

6’5” – 244 lbs.

Background:

Four-star recruit who originally attended Michigan, where he played sparingly for two years before originally winning the starting job and losing it as the season went on. Over five starts, went 2-3 with 1,077 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions. Backed up Hendon Hooker for two years at Tennessee (ten touchdowns in nine appearances and two starts in 2022) before taking over the starting role this year. As of the time of writing, has led Tennessee to an 8-4 record and thrown for 2,769 yards (64.5%, 7.2 YPA), twenty touchdowns, and five interceptions, with a 75-292-6 rushing line.

Positives:

Stepped right in and provided solid quarterback play when Hendon Hooker went down last year. Massive quarterback with elite size and bulk. Sets up without a heel click at the end of his drops. Gets the ball out pretty quick on predetermined rhythm-based throws. Has a fluid release with a high release point. Checks down to pick up easy completions when his primary read isn’t open. Took way more deep shots than usual for a college quarterback, and has easy arm strength to all levels of the field; arm talent is elite. The ball jumps out of his hand with a flick of the wrist. Able to stick the ball on his guy in tight coverage when throwing over the middle of the field. Has the confidence to attack downfield even when the coverage is good. Gets good arc on his downfield passes, but is also capable of rifling throws in down the seams. Moves pretty well in the pocket to buy time. Can pick up first downs on runs when the middle of the field is open. Shows toughness as a runner and is capable of burrowing ahead for additional yardage.

Negatives:

Has only seventeen starts to his name, and game-to-game production was inconsistent. A lot of predetermined reads, often on short passes that racked up yards after the catch. Some tendency to stare down his primary target. Doesn’t throw with a ton of anticipation. Ball placement is inconsistent, even when operating from a clean pocket. May be a bit dependent on play-action passes, which are much more common in the Volunteers offense (nearly 54% of passes in 2022, mostly run-pass options.) Could learn to take something off of some throws. Surprisingly struggled to attack the deep right of the field despite his arm strength. Doesn’t have great vision as a ballcarrier; tends to run right into contact. Not the fastest or most elusive runner, either.

Summary:

One of the biggest, most gifted throwers you’ll see, but one who is very much a work in progress at this point. Was able to make some routine throws and attack downfield in Tennessee’s wide-open offense, but will have to adjust to going through progressions, throw with anticipation, and clean up his ball placement pretty significantly at the next level. Because of those raw elements of his game, will probably end up being more of a mid-round pick with upside.

Projection: Round 5

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