HomeTrade RumorsJ.J. McCarthy, Michigan Quarterback, Announces Decision to Enter Draft

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan Quarterback, Announces Decision to Enter Draft

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As expected, Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy has declared for the 2024 NFL draft. McCarthy’s announcement can be found here, courtesy of ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

McCarthy, who will turn 21 this week, was officially named the Wolverines’ starting quarterback before Week 3 of his sophomore season in 2022. That year, McCarthy led the team to a 12-1 record while completing 64.6% of his passes for 2,719 yards and 22 TDs against just five interceptions, but Michigan’s season ended with a narrow loss to TCU in the CFB Semifinals.

In the 2023 campaign, McCarthy posted similar passing numbers — his completion percentage actually increased to a terrific 72.3% — and he and head coach Jim Harbaugh finished the job, defeating Alabama in the Rose Bowl and then Washington in the CFP National Championship. Michigan ended the year with a perfect 15-0 record, and with nothing left to accomplish in the collegiate ranks, McCarthy had been expected to turn pro.

Despite the resume he put together at Ann Arbor, which includes First-Team All-Big Ten honors in 2023, McCarthy is not a perfect prospect. He has excellent arm strength and a high football IQ, but his high completion percentage belies the fact that he can struggle with ball placement, particularly on deep throws. He also has the tendency to telegraph passes, and his wiry frame is a cause for concern for some. He is unafraid to run, having carried the ball 134 times over the past two years, but his 3.8 YPC average suggests that his legs will not be a primary weapon at the next level.

Nonetheless, Harbaugh has called McCarthy the best quarterback Michigan has ever had, which is high praise for a program that has churned out a number of quality passers over the years (Tom Brady and Harbaugh himself, for instance). So while McCarthy is not on the same level as quarterbacks like Caleb Williams and Drake Maye, he still has a chance to hear his name called in the first round of the draft, though some early mock drafts peg him as more of a Day 2 option.

Recent reports have suggested that if Harbaugh were to become the Raiders’ head coach this offseason, he would want the club to draft McCarthy. The Raiders presently hold the 13th overall pick, which may be too high for McCarthy, but Las Vegas does not pick again until it is on the clock with the No. 44 selection. The club’s new GM and head coach, therefore, will have something of a complicated quarterback decision on their hands.

 

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