Michigan Wolverines quarterback JJ McCarthy ended his collegiate career with a national championship. Now following in the footsteps of coach Jim Harbaugh, McCarthy could be one of the most coveted additions for NFL teams this offseason.
McCarthy, 6-foot-3, isn’t one of the most decorated quarterbacks in this class. Unlike Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels, he doesn’t have a Heisman Trophy. Nor does the Wolverines’ signal-caller boast the stats to match Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix.
- JJ McCarthy stats: 167.4 QB rating, 2,991 passing yards, 22-4 TD-INT, 9.0 ypa
However, as NFL teams dive deeper into the 2024 quarterback class, it appears their sentiment regarding McCarthy is much closer to Harbaugh’s assessment than some would expect.
The Athletic’s NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler said he believes McCarthy will be taken somewhere within the top-12 picks in 2024. He also wouldn’t rule out the possibility of McCarthy going as high as No. 6 overall.
One area where McCarthy is really expected to stand out during the pre-draft process is in meetings with NFL teams. Invited to the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, the belief is the reigning first-team All-Big Ten quarterback will blow teams away with his football IQ, leadership and demeanor.
While there were some concerns late in the 2023 season regarding McCarthy’s dip in production and the Wolverines’ offense taking the football out of his hands more, the consensus is that it was a reflection on what would be most successful for Michigan at that time.
- JJ McCarthy career stats: 160.5 QB rating, 6,226 passing yards, 67.6 percent completion rate, 8.7 yards per attempt 49-11 TD-INT in 40 games
Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team
Assuming McCarthy is a top-12 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the teams to watch are the Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders. of those, Atlanta would likely be the best landing spot for McCarthy. Not only could the Falcons provide the offensive weapons for him to thrive – Bijan Robinson, Drake London and Kyle Pitts – but the offensive coordinator Zac Robinson’s system might also be perfect for McCarthy’s strengths.
McCarthy’s draft stock is already on the rise and there will likely be even more buzz after he meets with teams at the NFL Combine. If he continues to impress, we could potentially see four quarterbacks taken within the first 10 picks come April.