Latest intel makes J.J. McCarthy buzz grow louder ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read

University of Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy reportedly is on track to be a first-round pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, with the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders emerging as possible landing spots.

“I’m still hearing that J.J. McCarthy will be the fourth quarterback off the board,” Jordan Reid of ESPN wrote. “NFL teams haven’t been too afraid of the unknown when it comes to drafting QBs in recent years, and there are plenty of teams with mid-Round 1 grades on McCarthy that feel the run-heavy Michigan offense just means untapped potential. There are three QB-needy teams just outside the top 10 — the Vikings (No. 11), Broncos (No. 12) and Raiders (No. 13) — and McCarthy could end up going in that range.”

McCarthy is an interesting prospect heading into the draft. His success may be considered more a product of a successful team as Michigan won the College Football National Championship this past season. Listed by the university at 6-foot-3 and 202 pounds, there are some questions about his size that could be answered by measurements made at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, which is taking place in Indianapolis this week.

The other top quarterbacks available in the draft who are expected to be selected before McCarthy are Caleb Williams of the University of Southern California, Drake Maye of the University of North Carolina and Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels of Louisiana State University.

The Chicago Bears (No. 1), Washington Commanders (No. 2) and the New England Patriots (No. 3) are all thought to be in the market to select a quarterback.

McCarthy completed 72.3 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,991 yards and 22 touchdowns for the undefeated Wolverines. They defeated the University of Washington and fellow quarterback draft prospect Michael Penix Jr. in the national championship game.

The three NFL teams mentioned as possible McCarthy destinations all have quarterback situations that are in flux.

The Vikings could move on from Kirk Cousins, who is set to become a free agent. He suffered a season-ending Achilles injury during this past season.

The Broncos are expected to move on from Russell Wilson after a disappointing season in his first campaign under head coach Sean Payton.

The Raiders ended the season with rookie Aiden O’Connell as their starter and are expected to part ways with Jimmy Garoppolo, who was injured during the season. Garoppolo also reportedly received a two-game suspension from the NFL for violating its Performance Enhancing Substances policy.

Former Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh moved on the become the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, but they have quarterback Justin Herbert in place. The Chargers hold the No. 5 pick in the first round.

Like with many players, performance at the combine could either enhance or hurt McCarthy’s draft status. It should become more clear after the event wraps up.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.