MOBILE, Ala. — The former Tennessee quarterback is on a mission to please with his athleticism during Senior Bowl week, and continues to raise several eyebrows during the process.
After all, Joe Milton is a physical specimen, with the right build that the NFL scouts love. For an individual that stands six-foot-five, and weighs 235 pounds, Milton is very fluid, which helps with his pocket awareness. He showed a cannon for an arm through three intense scrimmages, and that’s currently what’s separating him from the rest of the gunslingers competing at the event.
Milton isn’t afraid of contact, and has surprising mobility, in which he believes will help him a lot at the next level. He’s confident in what he brings to the table, and is enjoying giving the different teams a glimpse at what makes him unique.
“I’m just being me, my personality, my arm strength, my arm talent,” Milton said. “The way that I run the ball, I feel like as a defender you have to have the right mindset to come tackle me.”
The Florida native has had a long journey up to this point, and it’s all been about patience. Milton played three seasons under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. He was mainly a backup to Shea Patterson as a Wolverine, but did learn two different offenses while in Ann Arbor. Milton later transferred to Tennessee, linked up with quarterback guru Josh Heupel, who expanded his football knowledge beyond imagination.
He learned a lot being Hendon Hooker’s backup in 2022, and put together a solid campaign as a full-time starter last season. Heupel’s offense is very quarterback-friendly, but requires a lot of plays and tempo. It helped Milton, considering he threw for 2,813 yards and 23 touchdowns, to go along with seven rushing scores. That’s why he’s confident that what he learned as a Volunteer will bode him well as a professional.
“I feel like everybody is interested in Tennessee’s offense, they want to know how we operate, how we do things, why our splits are so wide,” he said. “The way that we throw the ball, I feel like once you run a tempo offense, you feel bodies, you don’t really have to worry about coverages.”
Milton sat out the Volunteers’ bowl game, to prepare for his path to the NFL Draft. Adjusting to the different types of NFL playbooks will be nothing to him either, because of what he learned at Michigan and Tennessee. The Senior Bowl game is Saturday, and Milton has looked promising up to this point.
Everyone wants to see if he can leave a lasting impression with his pocket presence and arm. However, Milton emphasized how there’s much more that goes into his quick release.
“You got to be loaded into your back hip, not be too wide outside of your body,” the 23-year old said. “Being stable and poised on the frontside, that allows you to have control of the ball, you can have touch and do whatever.”
Accuracy, timing, and chemistry with the wide receivers is also vital. He’s built that with his new teammates in such a short amount of time.
Besides what he brings on the gridiron, Milton wants to impress the NFL executives with what he brings to the locker room too. Having that charming personality to where people can look at him beyond the helmet is what he strives for. So far, Milton feels that he has accomplished that feat this week.
It appears he has a high ceiling at the next level. Not to mention Milton’s experience in the Big Ten and the SEC should be beneficial. Milton would like to have a statement performance in Saturday’s game, but regardless of how it goes, he understand that there will be more work to do as he navigates through this Draft process.
At the end of the day, Milton knows he’ll be useful to any General Manager interested in him.
“I’ll do whatever the team needs, I feel like that’s my role.”