Browns ‘Showing Interest’ in Draft QB Prospect With ‘Cannon’ Arm - Sport News

Browns ‘Showing Interest’ in Draft QB Prospect With ‘Cannon’ Arm

The Cleveland Browns already have four quarterbacks under contract, but the team is at least considering taking a flier on a fifth in this year’s NFL draft.

Cory Kinnan of Browns Wire wrote on Monday, April 1 that Cleveland is “showing interest” in Joe Milton III out of the University of Tennessee. Kinnan cited a social media report from ESPN’s Jordan Reid in late March that Milton will meet with the Browns at some point this week.

“Milton mentioned to us on the telecast following Pro Day today that he’s scheduled to meet with the #Browns early next week,” Reid posted to X.

Joe Milton Has Huge Arm Talent, Struggles With Accuracy

Joe Milton III

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is a University of Tennessee grad, and Kinnan noted he has “invested deeply in” the school. While that tie could be meaningful to some degree, the reason Cleveland will draft Milton — if it ultimately does — is because of the arm talent he has displayed across his collegiate career.

Milton, now 24 years old, began his six-year run in college at Michigan. He spent three seasons with the team but appeared in only 14 games between 2018-2020. He then transferred to Tennessee, where he finally got the chance to be the man under center in 2023.

Milton completed 64.7% of his attempts for 2,813 passing yards, 20 TDs, 5 INTs and a QBR of 70.4, per Football Reference. He also rushed the football 78 times for 299 yards and 7 scores while leading the Volunteers to an 8-4 record.

NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein referred to the 6-foot, 5-inch and 235-pound Milton as a “rare specimen” with a “cannon for a right arm,” but that’s mostly where the praise ended.

Rare physical specimen with the proverbial “arm talent to make all the NFL throws,” but he’s prevented from doing so by a lack of timing, accuracy and touch. Milton is gifted with a cannon for a right arm and can throw the ball as hard or as far as you want. His fastballs are often inaccurate and difficult to catch for moving targets, and he was wildly inconsistent locating his deep throws.

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.

Browns Signed Former Ravens Pro Bowl QB Tyler Huntley in Offseaso

Ravens QB Tyler Huntley

Cleveland’s interest in meeting with Milton isn’t a great omen for starter Deshaun Watson as he enters his third season with the team, but it’s hardly the most disconcerting bit of news in that regard.

The Browns recently signed Tyler Huntley, a former Pro Bowler with the Baltimore Ravens, to a one-year deal. That move wouldn’t be all that much of a splash, save for the fact that Cleveland also inked former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston to a contract this offseason and still has rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson on the roster.

Tony Grossi of The Land on Demand and ESPN 850 on March 31 responded to a mailbag question about what the loading up on QBs in Cleveland means for the team’s confidence that Watson can get on the field, stay there and play well in 2024. Watson has started just six regular-season games in each of his two years with the Browns, first due to a suspension in 2022 and then due to injury in 2023.

“The Browns erred badly in starting the 2023 season with raw rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson as the top backup behind Watson. I believe they learned from it,” Grossi wrote. “They keep saying Watson will be fine, but the emphasis on experienced backup quarterbacks this year would lead anyone to believe that nothing is guaranteed.”

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