New England Patriots draft Tennessee gunslinger Joe Milton

Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III (7) scrambles with the ballduring a football game between
Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III (7) scrambles with the ballduring a football game between / Hannah Mattix/News Sentinel / USA TODAY

Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton is off the board in this year’s NFL Draft and is heading to New England to join the Patriots after being drafted in the 6th round. Milton had a unique path to his draft selection but could be a hidden gem in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Milton came to Tennessee from Michigan as first-year head coach Josh Heupel’s starting quarterback. He lost the job to Hendon Hooker in 2021, sat behind Hooker in 2022, and earned his opportunity to lead the Vols in 2023. 

He threw for 2,813 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, and five interceptions in his senior season. Milton also rushed for 299 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in 2023, making him a dual-threat quarterback for the Vols. 

What are the Patriots getting in Joe Milton?

The Patriots are getting one of, if not the best, quarterback available coming into day three of the NFL Draft. He has unreal arm strength and is not afraid to show it off in games and big moments. Everyone has seen his insane arm strength, and NFL executives have seen his arm up close at the NFL Combine and Tennessee’s Pro Day. 

Milton showed up both days, showing why each team should draft him for his arm strength and power. He also has the ability to take off and run, which made him a dual-threat quarterback for the Vols last season and helped Tennessee’s versatility on offense. 

He also brings elite accuracy. Believe it or not, Milton is one of the more accurate quarterbacks at the short and intermediate levels, which are both areas of criticism for Milton. His accuracy falls off when looking at the deep ball, but his ability to push the ball down the field with 70+ yard passes can make up for the deep accuracy issues. 

The Patriots also drafted UNC quarterback Drake Maye in the first round, so Milton will already be drawing comparisons to Maye as they prepare to compete for roster spots on this year’s team. Maye and Milton have similar accuracy numbers in the PFF graphic, but Milton is easily the strongest arm in the class and offers a deep ball that Maye can’t.