Make A Choice: Dylan McCaffrey Or Joe Milton
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.
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.