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Ever since news broke that Dylan McCaffrey would be exiting the Michigan program, all attention has been focused directly on Joe Milton. As the presumed winner of the McCaffrey-Milton quarterback battle, the 6-5, 243-pound junior with a rocket launcher for an arm will be trusted to lead the Wolverines into battle for the 2020 season, and that's left many wondering what he will be like as a full-time starter for U-M this season.

So far, Milton has played sparingly in late-game blowouts, collecting 117 passing yards and one TD on 6-for-11 throwing to go along with 47 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. But regardless of that meager statline, the Michigan passer's physical talents are readily apparent. Milton has one of the strongest arms of any quarterback to ever play at U-M, but it takes a lot more than unparalleled throwing power to become a success at the college level.

With that stated, how does Milton stack up as a QB and which other passers could his skill set be compared to? 


At 6-5 and 243 pounds, Milton could line up as a tight end in many offenses without sacrificing much in the size department. He is certainly a big-bodied quarterback, but he carries the weight well and still shows spry movement when breaking out of the pocket. 

Cam Newton has been a popular comparison for Milton over the offseason, and it's pretty on the mark from a measurables standpoint. lists Newton at 6-5 and 245 pounds, so that's a pretty spot on reference point. Both quarterbacks have strong upper bodies and look virtually identical in pads. 

One other player worth considering in this respect is Ben Roethlisberger. Both Milton and Big Ben are 6-5, and the latter tips the scales at 240 pounds, so that's another big quarterback that has found exceptional success in the pros. Roethlisberger uses his size well to shake off pass rushers in the pocket, and that's a trait that Milton has exhibited in the past too. Back in 2018, Milton was able to fight through a couple would-be sacks and scramble around the pocket against Rutgers a la Big Ben, though the play ultimately did end in a loss of yardage.

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Passing Ability 

For this category, the most apt comparison might be another young gunslinger who is taking the NFL by storm in Josh Allen. When entering the pros from Wyoming, Allen was lauded for his arm strength, but one of the common knocks on his body of work was his accuracy. It was clear to anyone watching Allen that he could chuck the football a long ways down the field, but it was anyone's guess as to where the ball would end up.

It would be unfair to say that Milton as firing blind when he hurls the football downfield, but he left high school with a near 50% completion rate after his senior season and hasn't been the most precise passer in college either. Still, Devin Gardner has worked with Milton over the offseason, and he was impressed with the ball placement from the Michigan quarterback. 

Footwork and Rushing Ability

Last weekend, FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart offered up the Joe Milton - Cam Newton comparison once again, commenting on how the two are big with strong arms and can run with the football, but that is too surface level of a comparison to ring completely true. Size-wise, the comparison works, but Milton has a decided edge in arm strength and Newton is much more comfortable tucking the football and running for a first down. 

So far, Milton has only 12 rushing attempts to his record at Michigan, and several of those plays were designed runs to get him out on the edge. In doing so, Milton shows that he's spry enough to gallop for short first downs and can evade defenders reasonably well, but he doesn't have the speed to equate to a Newton or even an Allen. Instead, Milton looks a lot like Daunte Culpepper as both players could break the pocket and pick up positive rushing yards when necessary without breaking the sound barrier from a speed perspective. 

Culpepper is another big quarterback that was highly successful in throwing deep passes downfield to Randy Moss, but when that option wasn't available he could also run in search of a first down. In the pocket, Culpepper was difficult to bring down due to his size, so he also showed a penchant of extending plays like Roethlisberger still does. 

In all, Milton is beginning to sound like a create-a-player in the sense that he takes some of the best attributes from other highly successful quarterbacks, but that is exactly what he has shown in his limited time on the field so far. Of course, none of these attributes will translate well if he's not dialed in between the ears, but all reports point to this offseason as a really productive period of time for Michigan's quarterback, and he'll have a chance to etch his name in U-M history as a starter once Oct. 24 rolls around.

What do you think of these comparisons for Joe Milton? Which quarterback does he most resemble in your mind? Let us know!