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Tom Curran offers glowing first impression of Patriots rookie QB


“He’s an absolute fucking cannon,” Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston said of the Patriots’ sixth-round pick Joe Milton III.

New England Patriots sixth-round quarterback Joe Milton III takes the field during the NFL football team’s rookie minicamp, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark Stockwell)

It came as no surprise when the Patriots selected UNC quarterback Drake Maye with their third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. For months, rumors swirled that New England was looking for a young signal-caller to learn the ropes from veteran Jacoby Brissett, who they acquired early in free agency.

Which is why, two days after Maye was selected, fans may have been shocked to hear another quarterback go off the board for the Patriots.

New England selected Joe Milton III of Tennessee in the middle of the sixth round of the draft (193rd overall). And while some experts remained skeptical of the pickup, the rookie minicamp showcased the 24-year-old’s arm talent.

“He’s an absolute fucking hottie, he’s indescribably powerful,” Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston said Tuesday. “The arc of the ball – there’s none – it comes out so hot.”

Curran’s observations follow the same tone that other experts sing about Milton. Executive vice president of player personnel Eliot Wolf told Adam Schefter last week that Milton has “too much talent” to pass up. Meanwhile, Tennessee offensive coordinator Joey Halzle called his former player “the most physically talented quarterback I’ve been around,” according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Milton, who transferred from Michigan to Tennessee in 2021 and played six collegiate seasons, entered the draft with a limited sample size due to injuries. Yet over three seasons as a starter for the Vols, Milton completed 314 of 498 passes (.631) for 4,159 yards and 32 touchdowns with five interceptions.

“I would bet the RPMs on his throw are off the charts, it’s just fun to watch,” Curran added.

Indeed, the strength of Milton’s throws is something to behold. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound quarterback came in first for longest pass (60 yards), fastest initial airspeed (76.4 mph) and highest initial turnover ( 735 rpm) at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in January.

Even though the ceiling for Milton is high, there are still things he will need to work on in the offseason to have a chance of landing on the 53-man roster. With Brissett and Maye providing the difference, the former Vol will likely face backup Bailey Zappe.

“Everything is one speed and he doesn’t overlap throws, so there are parts of his game where he’s going to have to learn ‘okay, this needs a little more arc, this needs ‘a little less juice,’ but worth taking a shot,” added Mike Giardi of the Boston Sports Journal, agreeing with Curran.

With first impressions complete and the 2024 rookie minicamp in the books, Phase 2 of the Patriots offseason continues on May 20.


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