Browns Named Top Landing Spot for Big-Armed QB

The Cleveland Browns have a crowded quarterback room but could still add Joe Milton on Day 3 of the NFL Draft.

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The Browns don’t have a pressing need at quarterback. Deshaun Watson is the unquestioned starter. However, there is some uncertainty surrounding the Browns’ $230 million quarterback. He’s still working his way back from season-ending shoulder surgery.

Cleveland also added Tyler Huntley and former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston this offseason. The veteran duo joins second-year passer Dorian Thompson-Robinson on the depth chart.

But the Browns liked Milton enough to host him for a visit ahead of the draft. He’s a raw passer but comes with elite athleticism and a big arm. Bleacher Report pegged the Browns as a top landing spot for Milton in the latter rounds.

“While the Browns have a crowded quarterback room that includes Jameis Winston and Tyler Huntley behind Deshaun Watson, Cleveland previously hosted Milton for a visit and could take a flier on him in one of the later round,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Bachar said. “With Watson appearing in just 12 total games throughout two seasons with the Browns, Milton could compete for the second-string role and potentially see the field as a rookie.”

The Browns have picks in the fifth (No. 156 overall), sixth (No. 206 overall) and seventh (No. 227 and 243) rounds remaining.

Joe Milton is Raw Prospect for Browns

Where will Joe Milton get drafted? Projecting best fit for Tennessee QB

Milton passed for 2,831 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions during his final season at Tennessee. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes. He added 299 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground.

Milton had his pro day on  March 27 and showed off his elite arm strength and physical skills. He ran a 4.55 40-yard dash at 245 pounds. However, there are still some concerns about his ability as a passer.

“His fastballs are often inaccurate and difficult to catch for moving targets, and he was wildly inconsistent locating his deep throws,”’s Lance Zierlein wrote in his pre-draft analysis of Milton. “He can elude pressure, extend plays and put jaw-dropping highlights on tape, but he’s never been able to mature his game from splashy to consistent. He’s primarily a single-side reader who struggles to improvise with his eyes. The physical ingredients could get him drafted on Day 3, but his lack of development over six seasons discourages his projection.”

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It’s unlikely that the Browns would draft Milton with the intention of using him in the plans for next season. The Browns started five different quarterbacks last season with Watson banged up. The team worked to improve their depth this offseason.

PJ Walker and Thompson-Robinson flailed in their starting opportunities last season but Joe Flacco — now with the Indianapolis Colts — eventually steadied the ship for Cleveland. The team can’t afford to not have a veteran option ready to go this season if Watson misses time again.

Winston appears to be the frontrunner for the primary backup spot. He has passed for 22,104 yards, 141 touchdowns and 99 interceptions in his career. Winston has a 34-46 record as a starter and made the Pro Bowl in 2015 as a rookie.

Huntley has also comes with some starting experience from his time with the Baltimore Ravens. He has completed 64.6% of his passes for 1,957 yards, with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Huntley has a career quarterback rating of 79.0. Huntley is a dual threat, adding 509 yards and 3 more touchdowns on the ground.

Watson will be limited until at least training camp and it’s unkown how much he’ll be on the field in the preseason. That’ll give the Browns’ backups a chance to prove their worth. It’s good to be well-prepared but Cleveland is hoping the backup QB spot won’t be as much of a discussion for the coming year.

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