Make A Choice: Dylan McCaffrey Or Joe Milton

Brandon Brown

First off, this is not meant to be a debate about whether or not the football season is going to start on time, nor should it become an opportunity to bash whichever player you don't choose. 

With that said, if you could select Michigan's starting quarterback for 2020, with the limited knowledge we on the outside have, would you pick Dylan McCaffrey or Joe Milton

The disclaimer is important. Jim Harbaugh, Josh Gattis and Ben McDaniels all have and endless supply of information when it comes to choosing a starting quarterback. They have hours and hours of film, in-person workouts, countless practices, limitless date and more to make the best choice for Michigan football. We don't have that.

What we do have, are limited facts.

We know that Joe Milton is bigger than Dylan McCaffrey and, in theory, more durable. Milton is listed at 6-5, 245 pounds, to McCaffrey's 6-5, 220. That's not a huge difference, but Milton certainly looks more put together and appears more physically ready for a complete season. McCaffrey has already suffered a broken collarbone and a pretty severe concussion in limited action. Both injuries caused McCaffrey to miss significant time. 

We also know that Milton recently ran a faster 40 time. It's been reported that Milton was somewhere in the 4.65 range, while McCaffrey popped off a 4.85. Again, not a huge difference, but Milton does have the edge. I'm a little surprised by those numbers because McCaffrey has shown that he's plenty fast on the field with a handful of pretty long runs to his name.

When it comes to actual, on-field numbers, McCaffrey does have the edge, but neither have really played any sort of meaningful minutes. McCaffrey did come in to relieve a dinged up Shea Patterson two seasons ago in South Bend, but it was only for a series or two. McCaffrey has played in a total of 13 games and is 18-of-35 for 242 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. Milton, on the other hand, has played in eight games and is just 3-of-7 for 117 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Neither of those stat lines are enough to make a full season prediction of how they'd do, but turnovers and accuracy have been an issue for Milton dating back to his prep days. In three years as a starter at Olympia High School, Milton completed just 47.3% of his passes. That is an extremely low mark for a Division I quarterback in high school.

My Pick

Again, people outside of Schembechler Hall, myself included, don't have all of the information, so making a choice is  based on the little bit we do know, is tricky. But because of his size, apparent speed and arm strength, I'm going to roll the dice and pick Joe Milton.

I've said this for a long time, but I think the offense's ceiling is higher with Milton, but, at the same time, the floor is probably lower. His background of below average accuracy and propensity to turn the ball over is concerning. However, if he can take care of the ball even a little bit, his physical gifts are just too much to ignore.

I love the idea of hitting receivers in stride 60-plus yards down the field. A quarterback that can stretch the field like that with a receiver like Nico Collins is very intriguing. Throw in the fact that Milton is running in the 4.6 range at over 240 pounds and you have something that offensive coordinators dream of. Is that Josh Gattis' dream? We shall see. If it were up to me, I'd give Milton a shot.

Comments (8)
No. 1-6
G-$$$
G-$$$

I personally really like Joe Milton. If you don’t agree with me, good for you, but you really should go look at Joe’s size and his recruiting profile. Yes he may have some accuracy issues, but he has much more potential and will be able to grow with a young offense next year. He could give us a good season next year and then come back in 2021 with almost the same personnel on offense(except for Eubanks and Nico) and then come back AGAIN in 2022 with a veteran offense. When I think of Joe I think of Justin Herbert, the Oregon QB this last year that had amazing physical traits. His accuracy came around in time and he was able to help build a very good offense at Oregon as a 3.5 year starter. Also, having a starter locked in place for the next 3 years would give JJ McCarthy ample time to grow into the starter role. He could take a redshirt year and then be the backup before taking over and being a 3 year starter. Going back to Joe and looking long term, I would rather have a QB that can take us to the CFP in 2021 and 2022 than have a guy like Dylan who would not take the offense to the new heights that Joe would. I would love to hear why I’m wrong though so please tell me.

Over It
Over It

To me McCaffrey's injuries had more to do with the fact that we wasn't a smart runner. He would run into contact too often rather than avoiding it like a QB should usually do. If he can be a smarter runner, I'd take him. Milton's inaccuracy scares me.

RossPsychBAQB
RossPsychBAQB

Joe Milton for sure. He has a cannon; that with Harbaugh's training will make him great. All good qbs throw an interception every now and then because of the confidence they have and the risks they take. Make him a leader of the Offense and he may develop into a winner! I'd like to see the comparison in practice. A freshman starter is also a possibility!

1 Reply

MORandy
MORandy

Harbaugh training? What is that?

UMfb
UMfb

Of course, we've all seen more from McCaffrey than Milton. Step away from the physical stats for a moment. As far as character traits: McCaffrey seems to have more hunger and has a deeper thirst for scoring many TDs. I don't think we could go too wrong with either QB. The coaches intended to use McCaffrey more in 2019, but injuries changed that plan. We still didn't see Milton despite the injuries suffered by McCaffrey. That says something, though.

MORandy
MORandy

I think that Jimmy will start Dylan and we will be asking Jimmy this. Why hasn’t Dylan played more especially Shea was nursing an injury at the beginning of last year? I think Dylan will take this offense to new heights. Whether or not he gets hurt is another story but I see Dylan doing great.

dieseldub
dieseldub

The accuracy is definitely an issue, but he is fast enough and built enough to be a tough ball runner, too.

McCaffrey is a concern over being a little more fragile when running, though what happened at Wisconsin was wholly bullshit. Still pretty pissed about the blatant targeting twice in the same drive.

Given the McCaffrey blood lines, have we already wasted his talent by putting Patterson in the last two years? As much as I like Patterson's story and the potential he had coming in, he didn't seem to quite have the right work ethic.

Here's to hoping that whoever starts has that fire burning to be the best after being put behind Patterson the last two years and uses that fire to torch the field a lot like Brady did with the competition with Drew Henson.


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