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2024 NFL Draft Player Profile: Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

We are excited about our draft coverage here at FFSN this year, as we are adding something new to the fold. Between now and the NFL Draft, I will be writing individual player profiles on many of this year’s top prospects. Today, we continue the series with Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

In correlation with today’s article, FFSN’s K.T. Smith did an extensive film breakdown on McCarthy, Make sure you check out his in-depth evaluation in the player below, or by clicking HERE!

Bio and Profile

A two-time Academic All-Big 10 nominee, McCarthy has displayed an excellent mind both on and off the field. He went 27-1 as the starter at Michigan, and he was a three-time letterman. Given a five-star rating by 247 Sports, McCarthy’s expectations have always been high. He was ranked a top-25 player nationally, and he was universally ranked as a top-3 pro-style quarterback in his class. However, his ratings were justifiably high, as he was named the MaxPreps Florida High School Player of the Year in 2020. He delivered upon those expectations at Michigan, and he will forever go down as a championship-winning quarterback at the school.

Scouting Report

Media personalities knock the fact that McCarthy did not do much to win Michigan’s big games, but at the end of the day, he didn’t need to, nor was he asked to. He did everything he was supposed to in order to put Michigan in position to win, even though it does not seem like much on paper. That aspect does not concern me. What concerns me the most, outside of his weird meditation routine, is his lack of touch on underneath and intermediate throws. McCarthy has a strong arm and a gunslinger mentality, but I would hate to be a running back trying to catch a swing pass out of the backfield from him. If he can learn the concept of touch, he will be a good passer at the next level.

Despite not having an elite receiver or tight end, McCarthy was efficient in spreading the ball around to many different entities, making it difficult for defenses to defend. While he is still developing a sense of urgency when under duress inside the pocket, his athleticism and escapability inside the pocket is top-notch. I do not put much weight into a quarterback’s 40 time, but do not be surprised if he runs in the 4.4s at the combine. McCarthy possesses a good, but not elite, arm, yet his athleticism truly sets him apart from the next tier of quarterbacks in this draft class. There are definitely some mechanical issues that need to improve at the next level, and those issues may prevent him from being ready to start right away, but for an inexperienced 21 year-old, he has done enough to warrant a first-round selection.

Draft Projection

As it pertains to his draft stock, McCarthy has quite a range if you are looking at mock drafts. Some barely sneak him in the back end of Round 1, while others put him safely inside the top 10. At the end of the day, regardless of the media’s perception of McCarthy, I believe he will be a top 15 pick. With the amount of teams in need of quarterback this offseason, I honestly do not expect him to last past the first ten picks. Some team will fall in love with his athleticism and competitiveness, and they will take him higher than the spot his grade would suggest. Keep an eye on Denver and Seattle, as both teams could still be in need of a young signal caller come April. They are ideal landing spots.


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