Michigan landed a quarterback commit last week from a Florida prep star whose film has some serious highlights.
Orlando (Fla.) Olympia’s Joe Milton – a 4-star recruit, according to the 247Sports composite – announced his pledge to the Wolverines with a video last week.
— Joe milton #7 (@Qbjayy7) May 7, 2017
The nation’s No. 245 overall prospect has rocketed up the rankings following an impressive junior season in a state rich in football talent.
We took a trip to the film room to study what Milton will bring to Ann Arbor and what he’ll need to work on.
3 things that stand out about Joe Milton
First, the good news about Milton:
1. Arm strength
We never said this breakdown was going to be rocket science, and this one is obvious. The biggest thing that stands out about Milton is his arm strength.
He can throw the ball nearly 70 yards in a spiral, but what’s most impressive about his arm strength is how accurate he is.
We saw the Wolverines land one of the best high school arms in Shane Morris from the 2013 class. But as we saw in his stint at Michigan, he couldn’t throw with accuracy. What’s a strong arm if it isn’t on target?
Milton gives you that Morris arm strength, but with great touch and top-notch accuracy.
2. Raw ability
Milton gives this coaching staff loads to work with. He’s 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, runs a 4.69 40-yard dash and can bench press 250 pounds, according to his Hudl page.
That’s, uh, frightening.
He’s strong, quick and a big dude. He’s also smart and humble. That’s a coaching dream in this day and age.
Milton’s film shows how much he can be, on top of how much he already is.
3. Ability to throw on the run
We nearly made this his top strength.
An ability to throw on the run with accuracy is something that’s hard to find in quarterbacks. Usually the ones who can do it, overdo it. Making dumb throws leads to turnovers.
Milton is scary smart when he’s moving outside the pocket. He does it a little too much – which we’ll get to in a moment – but when he does it, it’s something no quarterback on Michigan’s roster can do right now.
He can absolutely launch it while moving, but he also can do it with accuracy, even while being pressured.
3 things that Joe Milton should work on
He’s not perfect, folks. Here are three things Milton needs to improve:
1. Threading needles works in high school, not as often in Division I
Milton’s arm strength and ability on the run may let him throw into tight spots, but it doesn’t mean that’s something he should continue to do at the next level. At least not as often.
While Florida high school football is some of the best you’ll see, it certainly isn’t the same as going up against upperclassmen in the Big Ten with defenses as good as Ohio State and Wisconsin.
Linebackers feed off quarterback who think they can thread the needle. And so do safeties such as Jordan Glasgow, who picked off current Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight in the spring game.
The second defensive TD for MAIZE today and this one goes the distance! 💯 #GoBlue
MAIZE – 28 // BLUE – 17 https://t.co/LA4g1eNGgS
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) April 15, 2017
Speight doesn’t have nearly the arm strength Milton does. But it’s dangerous throws like these that don’t get picked off in high school but often do in the Big Ten.
We’re not suggesting he stay away completely from putting ball in tight spaces, but don’t do it as often.
2. Leaves the pocket too early
Milton is fast enough to have some fun in the pocket and throw it on the run in high school football.
But the hungry defensive ends and outside linebackers in Division I will catch up to him before he can show off that arm on the run.
Milton will need to learn to stay in the pocket when there’s still time to find a check-down receiver, an open man or to throw it away.
Milton needs to work on some basic mechanics.
He throws off his back foot too much. His drop-step and overall footwork overall in the pocket are awkward and at times slow.
But, not to worry, these things aren’t too complicated to teach a prospect as promising as Milton. It’s at the bottom of our list because it should be the easiest thing for him to fix going forward.