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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 QB J.J. McCarthy.

Each of these breakdowns will include a brief background on the player, an in-depth scouting report, and a projection as to where he is likely to be selected in the NFL Draft. All of these articles can be found on our main FFSN NFL feed. Be sure to share these breakdowns with your fellow draft buddies on social media!

Bio and Profile

Height: 6’2 1/2″
Weight: 219 lbs

Generally given a four-star rating, McCarthy was one of the highest-rated pro-style quarterbacks in his class. Rated as the tenth best player in the state of Florida, McCarthy left the IMG Academy after graduation and chose to take his game to Michigan. Under the tutelage of Jim Harbaugh, McCarthy had two efficient seasons as the starting quarterback for Michigan, both of which resulted in college football playoff appearances. Despite having a strong running game, Michigan relied on him in key moments during Michigan’s championship run in 2023, putting the nation on notice. He heads into the draft with positive momentum after a strong workout at the combine.

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. Yes, McCarthy has some mechanical issues, and he may not be ready to start right away, but for an inexperienced 21 year-old, he has done enough to warrant a first-round selection.

Draft Projection

While McCarthy ranks as a mid to late first rounder on the draft boards of most pundits, he is likely to go much higher than his grade would suggest, as the demand for quarterbacks is greater than the current supply within the league. Several teams in need of a quarterback could be in the market to trade inside the top 10 to select McCarthy, two of which are the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos. The Giants are also a potential landing spot at Pick 6, but it would not shock me if he was off the board even earlier. I am beginning to hear rumblings that McCarthy may be viewed as a better quarterback than Drake Maye by some teams, as his athleticism and competitiveness will appeal to NFL franchises as they get to know him better. He is most likely a top-10 selection, while also having a chance of going inside the top 5.



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