Player Profile: Tennessee QB Joe Milton

Joe Milton

Joe Milton is a rising senior who transferred in from Michigan in 2021 and will be taking over as the starter at Tennessee.

In 2022, Tennessee had their best season in 21 years. The last time the Volunteers saw 11 wins, was in 2001. With quarterback Hendon Hooker, Tennessee’s offense was explosive and fast. The receiving core made plays when needed and Hooker matched their energy.

However, Hooker is gone, and Joe Milton is in. Milton transferred in from Michigan after it was apparent that they were going in a different direction at quarterback. Needless to say, Milton spent time backing up Hooker to learn the ropes of the new Tennessee.

Fast forward to late 2022, Milton saw significant playing time after Hooker went down with a season ending injury. So, what do we know about Joe Milton heading into the 2023 regular season?

Joe Milton’s Strengths

From the moment Joe Milton stepped foot on a college campus, we all knew he had a cannon for an arm. News reports from Tennessee practice is that Milton can throw 90 plus yards down field. With a flick of his wrist, the ball goes far.

Furthermore, the short to mid-range throws is Milton’s bread and butter. Milton has a chance to be one of the best when throwing in those ranges. His quick throwing motion coupled with the cannon of an arm allows Milton to fit the ball into tight windows.

This attribute bolds well for Tennessee. The Volunteers excelled at the short to mid-range passes in 2023. The quick slant and post routes were staples last season. In the Orange Bowl, Milton made quick work of the Clemson secondary with those plays.

Moreover, Milton is accurate in the pocket but is athletic enough to get yards on the ground. At 6’5 242 pounds, Milton is a handful for anybody to bring down 1-on-1.

Joe Milton’s Weaknesses

Although this weakness might be slight, it was very noticeable on film. Like most young quarterbacks, Milton has shown trouble getting to his second and third options when the first option isn’t there.

Again, a very small tell, but because Milton does not move his feet much while in the pocket, he can look like a statue at times. Many of the moments where he was sacked was due to Milton not moving within the pocket. This occurs when the first throwing option isn’t available.

Consequently, Milton has to show improvement in that area of his game. Because, for a quarterback so mobile, it is strange that he’s not moving his feet.

Lastly, Milton has a cannon for an arm that can get away from him at times. At Michigan, Milton was prone to overthrowing his receivers on deep balls. The Volunteers seem to have faster receivers to go along with the arm throwing the ball.

NFL Preseason-Draft Projection

Regardless of the weaknesses shown last season, Milton has the talent to correct those small weaknesses. With a good 2023, Milton could find favor in the draft as a potential early 2nd round pick.

If you look at the NFL Preseason, the rookies who have come into the league with plenty of college experience have done well thus far this year. Maybe, a team that can’t get Drake Maye or Caleb Williams looks at Joe Milton as a future franchise quarterback.

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