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ESPN debates Joe Milton’s NFL Draft stock

Will Milton hear his name called in April?

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft process is well underway, and one big event on the calendar is now behind us. The Senior Bowl wrapped up on Saturday in Mobile, Alabama, as teams spend the better part of a week interviewing and observing draft prospects during the all-star event.

Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton took part in the festivities, getting a chance to operate in a more traditional offense in front of NFL evaluators. The 6-5, 230 pound passer has all the physical traits you could possibly want, but accuracy and decision making have been the knocks on Milton for a few years now.

Unfortunately during the game on Saturday, both of those issues popped up again. Milton tossed two interceptions on the day and was credited with two clear inaccurate passes.

Tennessee QB Joe Milton III completed 9-of-13 passes but struggled to get much going. He took a sack deep in his own territory on his first snap, misfired on an open checkdown pass and threw an end-zone interception, one of his two picks on the day. The other one was a clear overthrow right after he’d had his best stretch of the game. (NFL.com)

The game isn’t everything during Senior Bowl week, of course. The practices, drills and interviews are much more important to this process. There’s no doubt that Milton showed off his arm strength during that portion of the week, and I remain fascinated to see if some NFL team believes that they can straighten out the accuracy issues. The raw physical tools are tantalizing, but then again, he’s had five years in college to fix the rest. It simply never happened.

So where does that leave Milton’s NFL Draft stock? Day three at best — quite possibly undrafted. According to ESPN, Milton’s draft range is fifth to undrafted, with scouts rightfully questioning his accuracy and touch.

“He makes all the throws with the same velocity, and some easy completions get away from him,” said one AFC South scout who saw Milton play several times at Tennessee. (ESPN)

Evaluators polled said Milton’s physical stature and his arm strength, however, would be enough for a team to draft him on Day 3. Milton completed 64.7% of his passes with 20 touchdowns and five picks in his final season. (ESPN)

The last comment sums up how I feel overall on Milton. One quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator is going to catch himself drooling over the physical tools Milton has and will pound the table for him on day three. We’ve seen world-class arms get way overdrafted before, so it’s not all that difficult to believe that Milton could come off of the board as early as the fifth round.

Like Hendon Hooker last year, one thing that will be working against Milton is his age. Joe will turn 24 in March, which makes taking him on as a project that much tougher.

Next up for Milton will be the NFL Combine, which is set to get started on February 26th.