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Former Vol, NFL analyst expects a team to jump at former Tennessee QB Joe Milton III

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Charles Davis still sees a world of potential in former Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III.

“If you unlock it, good Lord,” Davis told SportsTalk on 99.1 The Sports Animal in Knoxville this week.

Unlocking that potential – at least all of it – has been the challenge.

Davis, a former Vol defensive back and NFL analyst, pointed to Milton’s physical ability and NFL Combine performance as one reason to believe Milton can succeed as a pro.

“The arm, the ability to make any throw you want, all of those things,” Davis said. “I thought the Combine was one of the best throwing sessions I’ve ever seen him have because he feathered some throws and he layered some throws and he did some things that people are looking for.”

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But is an NFL team looking for Milton to help them right now?

Davis hopes not – at least for Milton’s sake.

Davis was asked during the interview about the best team for Milton as the NFL Draft approaches.

Davis recommended a team that’s willing to wait for Milton to learn and develop.

“It has to be a group that has no worries about wanting to hustle him out on the field to be their quarterback,” Davis said. “It has to be somebody that takes him and goes from Day One and works and works and works and works and hopes that they can get the benefits out of it.”

Milton has been compared to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson, a freak of an athlete from Florida who was drafted No. 4 overall last year.

Davis referenced the comparison between Milton and Richardson while pointing out a difference in the two players’ games.

“That ability to run the football with consistency and with breathtaking ability to go 80 yards, which I would think Joe Milton would have in him – but we did not really see that from him. That wasn’t part of what his game was.”

But no one questions Milton’s arm strength or size.

It’s his inconsistency that needs to improve, according to Davis.

“As an evaluator, I wasn’t real convinced that 3rd-and-4 was his friend and in the NFL 3rd-and-4 better be like shooting fish in a barrel. Those quarterbacks are the ones that get it done; those are the ones that stay on the field; those are the ones that move the chains and make it work.”

Davis said he still expects a team to jump at the opportunity to draft Milton – “and it might be sooner rather than later.”

Mock drafts are mixed on where Milton will land.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic has the Atlanta Falcons drafting Milton in the 6th round; ESPN’s latest seven-round mock draft has Milton going in the 7th round to Buffalo.

Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN ranks Milton as the No. 14 quarterback in the draft.

Most everyone in the NFL is intrigued by Milton.

That’s part of the reason he was invited to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.

Everyone in the league wanted to see what Milton could do in person.

Milton will get a shot, whether it’s as a drafted player or signing as a free agent.

His “wow” throws will give him that chance.

“Talent-wise, yeah,” Davis said. “It’s just got to be (a team that’s) going to have that patience and want to go with it. Because if you’re trying to hustle him out there now, I think that could be tough for him. I think we’ve got to do like a full build-up of him again because, boy, if they unlock it, we’re all going to be thrilled.”

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