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Transcripts: Joe Milton III Draft Press Conference

Read the full transcript from Joe Milton III's press conference on Saturday, April 27, 2024.



APRIL 27, 2024

Q: In your talks with the Patriots, did they tell you "we're locking you in at quarterback" or did they have any conversation about doing other stuff as well?

JM: No, just quarterback.

Q: What is your reaction to being selected by the Patriots?

JM: It is amazing. I am blessed by the best. My family is very proud of me, but the moment is especially about me just overcoming adversity twice. So, it's a blessing for sure.

Q: After seeing [the Patriots] take Drake Maye in the first round, did you think that this was at all a possibility that you could end up in New England or was this even a surprise for you when this call came?

JM: It was kind of both, both of the same spectrum. But at the same time, it was kind of like, I just had all of the hats laid out. You just never know where you will end up, so I was just waiting on any phone call.

Q: Do you have any relationship with Drake [Maye] just through the pre-draft process or anything like that?

JM: Yeah, we came in contact multiple times, even before the season. We'll have to play mini-camp, so yeah, we're close. Not as close as we are going to be, but we're close right now to the point that we can have a conversation for sure.

Q: What is your thought on being drafted by a team that already took a quarterback in the first round?

JM: It's just an opportunity. I feel like everywhere you go, no matter what quarterback got selected in this draft, no matter where you go, you're going to have to compete. Nothing is just given to you, no matter who you are. So, no matter where you go, you're just going to have to compete, so that is what I am looking forward to doing.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about what your pre-draft contact was like with the Patriots?

JM: I talked to them a couple times at the Senior Bowl. I also had their offense at the Senior Bowl. Then, I had to do a Zoom call with them not too long ago, probably like two or three weeks ago, before I left Tennessee to come home. Ever since then, other than that, it has been nothing.

Q: My question is about your arm strength. Have you always had an ability when it comes to the deep ball? When did that develop over the course of your playing career?

JM: I know growing up, my arm was not that strong. My mom used to say it was because I used to throw the ball over the top of buildings and try to go run and catch it on the other side. Other than that, I'll say like, growing up it was probably like 50 to 60, but you know, as I got older and stronger and kept working at my craft, it got way better for sure.

Q: We've seen some of the video, including the video of you throwing the orange. I think Tennessee put that on social media a little while back. What is the most amazing thing that you've done when it comes to throwing a football, at least in terms of distance?

JM: The orange was pretty fun, but I think I can throw an orange further than that. That was right after practice and that was a game week, so it was pretty tough to throw it as far as I wanted to, just because my arm was already tired from practice. But I feel like if I was given an orange again, I would throw it further than that for sure.

Q: I was just wondering who you knew in New England. You obviously played with Michael Onwenu at Michigan. Is there anybody else that you know so far coming in?

JM: Josh Uche. Who else is here? To be honest, I was not expecting this call, so I have to go look at their roster again. But, so far, it's only Josh Uche and Big Mike [Onwenu].

Q: There has been some speculation that you could one day transition to the tight end position. I am just curious about your thoughts on that. Did teams ever talk to you about that? Was that out of the blue? Would you ever have any interest in that?

JM: You are the first person I have actually heard that from, to be real with you. But, that will never happen.

Q: Coach [Jerod] Mayo is a Tennessee guy and you're teaming up with him. I just wanted to get your thoughts on that.

JM: It's great to always have two VFLs (Vols for Life) in the building, especially somewhere else other than Knoxville. So, just for us to reconnect and get to know each other is going to be great.

Q: How special a moment is this for you? You've been through some adversity, you started at Michigan, you bided your time at Tennessee, and you got your chance to start last year. How cool is this for you to get drafted after everything you have been through?

JM: It's a wonderful moment. I am pretty much speechless at this point, I'm kind of fumbling over myself, so I am kind of speechless at this point. But you know, I am blessed by the best. I'm happy about this moment. The only person I can thank for this moment is God, and all the hard work that I put in and the people that I have that were with me every step of the way.

Q: Are there any players that you model your game after as a quarterback?

JM: I wouldn't say "model my game after," but I watched a lot of quarterbacks to add things to my game.

Q: Who would those [quarterbacks] be and what are you trying to take from them?

JM: Brock Purdy. Brock Purdy is good with his feet, so every step he takes, he is going somewhere. I tried to implement that into my game, just because you don't want to make false movements, so that's something I worked over in the pre-draft process with Jordan Palmer. I am just at it every day and I was just trying to make sure that I maintain that process of eliminating steps and making sure that every step I take, I'm going somewhere.

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