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What They’re Saying About Joe Milton Leading Into the NFL Combine

Joe Milton
Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III. Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III is one of the most interesting names on the long list of prospects heading into the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis – 321 prospects, to be exact.

Milton’s collegiate journey began at Michigan but wrapped up at Tennessee as the veteran quarterback waited his turn in the Josh Heupel system to have a chance at being the Vols’ starter during the 2023 season. An injury forced Milton into the backup role early into his Tennessee tenure, opening up the path for Hendon Hooker and his success in Knoxville.

With a 6-foot-5, 245-pound body and a cannon attached to his right shoulder, no one questions the seemingly built-in-a-laboratory frame that Milton will carry into the NFL. As CBS Sports’ Brady Quinn said during a recent breakdown, Milton might be competing for the NFL’s strongest arm title on Day 1. But despite the ideal build, questions over Milton’s accuracy have held back the Tennessee quarterback from being listed at the top of the prospect charts.

Milton threw for 2,769 yards, 20 touchdowns, and five interceptions during his 12-game season in Knoxville, eventually opting out of the Citrus Bowl to focus on NFL prep ahead.

The Florida native participated in the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl in early February and completed 9-of-13 passes in the game with two interceptions that left a good bit to be desired. While it wasn’t a horrible outing, it did put more pressure on this week’s NFL Combine for Milton to prove that accuracy isn’t a resounding concern around the quarterback.

Milton is currently in Indianapolis for the off-the-field portions of the combine and will officially take the field work workouts on Saturday afternoon alongside the other quarterbacks, the receivers, and the running backs.

More from RTI: Trio of Tennessee Vols Set for NFL Combine This Week in Indianapolis

There’s been plenty of talk around Milton heading into the draft. Here’s a look at what some of the industry insiders, and one fellow college quarterback, have been saying about Milton leading into the workout portions of the NFL Combine at the end of the week:


ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum said this week that Joe Milton has the best arm in the draft. When building his perfect prospect quarterback from this year’s selections, Milton’s torso and arm are represented on the Frankenstein graphic. Other portions of the figure included Bo Nix’s head and J.J. McCarthy’s legs.

Joe Milton
ESPN graphic.

Mel Kiper Jr.

The ESPN draft guru landed Milton as the 10th-best quarterback in the class on Feb. 16, 2024:

  1. Caleb Williams – Southern Cal
  2. Jayden Daniels – LSU
  3. Drake Maye – North Carolina
  4. J.J. McCarthy – Michigan
  5. Michae Penix Jr. – Washington
  6. Bo Nix – Oregon
  7. Spencer Rattler – South Carolina
  8. Michael Pratt – Tulane
  9. Jordan Travis – Florida State
  10. Joe Milton III – Tennessee


Sportskeeda’s Robert Gullo picked out three potential landing spots for the Tennessee quarterback based on teams that might be able to take a flyer in the later rounds.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Minnesota Vikings
    • “If the Vikings do end up keeping Cousins, they could draft a QB like Milton in the mid-late rounds as a backup with a chance to take over as a starter if he fits the system,” Gullo writes.
  • New England Patriots
    • “Even if the Pats draft a QB early in the draft, drafting Milton in the later rounds could provide backup insurance,” explains Gullo.

CBS Sports

Brady Quinn: “[NFL scouts will] look at it and say, ‘We feel like we can work with this guy, we feel like we can mold this guy into something special,’ and that’s really where I think Joe Milton can improve himself over everyone else because his arm strength alone will separate him from the rest of the quarterback class.”

Danny Kanell: “He looks almost identical [to Anthony Richardson] like from a physical standpoint. I don’t think [Milton] is as good a runner as Anthony Richardson but if he can run and put a good time down at the combine, and “wow” which I think he will throwing the football, then I think some team will absolutely see him as a project they could work on saying, ‘Oh my goodness.’ Everyone is looking for the vertical pass game, the deep threat, can you put it on a line 40-50 yards down the field and he can absolutely do that.”

Shedeur Sanders

While it’s from early February and doesn’t have much to do with the NFL Combine, Colorado quarterback and son of Deion Sanders, Shedeur Sanders, came to the defense of Milton on social media. Pro Football Focus College tweeted out a video of an interception that Milton threw in the Senior Bowl with the caption, “The Joe Milton Experience” with a stressed-out-grinning emoji.

The Colorado quarterback responded to the tweet by saying, “I thought PFF College was to showcase college athletes not put them down,” with a thinking emoji attached.

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