Currently at 1-1 after losing a tough one to a strong Texas team, Alabama is still working out the kinks in a post-Bryce Young era. Jalen Milroe gives Bama something they haven’t really had much of in recent memory. Milroe, the former 4-star prospect brings an off-the-charts athletic profile, and a big arm but needs the experience that only comes with getting in-game action.
UPDATE: Milroe Benched…
Reports are coming out that Milroe is benched for Transfer Tyler Buchner (I don’t see any better results for Buchner unfortunately), I do wish the team would’ve worked to develop what Milroe does well. I’d like to hope that either Milroe gets another shot or transfers, truth be told, I’d love to see him in the Tennessee offense.
Is Jalen Milroe The Next Great Alabama QB?
6’2” and around 220 lbs, Milroe has the size you want, and Draft Buzz has his 40-time listed at 4.60, so the speed is there as well. If you want to understand what kind of arm Milroe possesses, it’s pretty easy to see even just in these first two games of the 2023 season.
Even if you watch just the highlights (though I’ve watched the game twice this week LOL), you’ll see that he can escape the pass rush and make off-balance passes. Obviously, NFL teams would rather you set your feet and deliver accurately, having the athletic ability to escape pressure and the arm to make throws off-balance can be a huge plus to teams. The downfall is if the player relies too much on that ability and doesn’t develop inside the pocket as well.
So truth be told, if you play dev fantasy football I drafted Jalen Milroe in 2022 drafts where I could. So when I evaluate college players, especially quarterbacks, I look for the tools first. Does the player have the athletic ability? Absolutely in spades, next Does the player have the arm strength to make all the throws? I believe so. Can the player handle the pocket, make reads, climb the pocket, or escape if need be? This is the biggest area that Tommy Rees & company will need to help Milroe with.
My biggest concern with the way the college landscape is in 2023 is will the team give the player enough time and development to turn into the best player he can be. I don’t know the answer, does Nick Saban have the patience to wait as the player develops? I’d probably say yes to that. The great thing about a team like Alabama with Saban is that he really can do just about whatever he wants, and be given the leeway to see it through. We do know that Saban at least let the idea percolate in his brain, which is not a great sign for sure but if he can see development, I believe he will stick with him.
I’m going out on a limb here. Less than a full season into things. But IF we see him stay with Alabama, and continue to be trusted as the starter and be prepared/developed, I can see him making a case to being an NFL Draftable prospect in a couple of seasons. He’s had his ups in downs in this short time as the leader of this team but the NFL is looking for this type of player, a playmaker that be the point guard for their team. A distributor that can make just about any throw but Milroe will need to do better protecting the ball from interceptions, which comes with live-action reps.
My concern with college football is more that either the team or the player gets impatient. He then hits the transfer portal. Especially at bigger schools with the quality of coaching they have. I’d want Milroe to continue his development with this staff. The other side from the player’s perspective is can this staff takes the type of player he is and helps him take his game to the next level. Milroe is more athletic than either Mac Jones or Bryce Young but is on par with Jalen Hurts (who left Bama), so there are plenty of questions we need to see answered.
I’m cautiously optimistic but this year we will see this team take its lumps, They have the defense to keep them in games, and enough playmakers to help a young quarterback out! As always if you want to talk all things football, hit me up on Twitter or over on the Draft Countdown Discord! And check out the rest of my work here.