top of page

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Thanks for subscribing!

Is J.J. McCarthy Ready For The NFL?

By Peter Andrisani (The Mock Draft Guy)


Every Draft season, we get those handful of prospects are are extremely polarizing. Some love em’ and some can’t stand them. This year, of course, is no different. One of, if not the MOST polarizing prospects in the 2024 Draft class is the focal point of today’s prospect profile, Michigan’s JJ McCarthy. 


STRENGTHS


I’ll be the first one to admit I needed to see a massive improvement from McCarthy to consider him a true blue-chip quarterback prospect. Most notably, his shortcomings against TCU’s defense in 2022 were a little alarming. McCarthy’s performances so far this season have made me an absolute believer though. While McCarthy and Michigan haven’t faced the stiffest competition yet, he has made massive improvements to his accuracy. 


McCarthy was always accurate for the most part, but when it came to setting his feet and throwing to the right-side boundary, he always struggled. This season, McCarthy’s accuracy and more importantly, his ball placement have been excellent. McCarthy completed a career-high 72.3% of his passes while averaging 9.0 yards per attempt, easily the highest number of his career at the time of recording. If you want an example of his ball placement, look up his touchdown pass to Roman Wilson against East Carolina this year, you’ll thank me later. 


His pocket awareness, while still under construction, has greatly improved so far, McCarthy has learned to move up in the pocket a little bit more, then just take off and scramble. McCarthy’s physical tools are what makes him so appealing to pro-level scouts. He possesses a phenomenal arm, with the ability to create whip-like velocity on tight-window throws. There isn’t a single throw that McCarthy can’t make based on arm talent. 


McCarthy displays great ability to look off defenders, and throw some wonderful layered, anticipation throws.

He combines evasive ability, flexibility, and off-platform torque that expands the possibilities with him on the field. McCarthy is also a great athlete, with 4.6 speed. McCarthy uses his athleticism to evade pressure and maneuver the pocket greatly. His ability as a runner feels almost untapped so far at Michigan, as he’s rushed for 632 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career. 


WEAKNESSES


McCarthy is such an interesting prospect to me, coming into the season, he was my 10th highest-rated draft-eligible Quarterback. I was never particularly impressed with his game, but you could always see there was something there. Physically, McCarthy is not the most imposing quarterback. While he is 6’3, he weighs in at 202 pounds and doesn’t even look like it. His wiry frame could be a cause for concern, how will he take open-field hits in the NFL if he decides to tuck and run?


While McCarthy’s processing skills are good, they are still unrefined. His field vision is sometimes hit or miss, staring down his initial read and forcing the ball into an unnecessarily tight window. McCarthy also needs to learn when to throw the football away, if the reads aren’t there, live to fight another snap, a hero ball will get you into trouble in the NFL. 


Lastly, McCarthy’s mechanics are inconsistent. He sometimes wrenches his shoulder upon his release, sailing deep passes as a result. McCarthy can be uncontrolled and frantic at the top of his drop, affecting the base width at his feet. 


SCHEME FIT


In terms of a Scheme Fit for JJ McCarthy, His skills are 

Very comparable to those needed to run a West Coast or Spread style offense in the NFL. Allowing McCarthy to gain confidence by getting some quick hitters and screen passes, and then airing the ball out deep downfield. There isn’t a throw McCarthy can’t make, it would make sense to let him spread his wings and showcase his abilities. 


TEAM FITS


Here are 5 teams I think could look to draft JJ McCarthy in the 2024 NFL Draft:


The Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings organization seems ready to move on from Kirk Cousins, The Vikings are in a prime position to draft a franchise quarterback. McCarthy has so much superstar potential, that he would plug right into that dynamic passing offense.


The New England Patriots. I said it before the season started, I was afraid that we already saw Mac Jones Ceiling in the NFL, and sadly, it looks like I’m right. The Pats need to make a change, and McCarthy seems like what the new regime would look for.


The Las Vegas Raiders. Handsome Jimmy or AOC does not look like a long-term answer in Vegas. McCarthy could ring in a new era in Vegas. Hopefully, they hit on a draft pick for once. 


The Denver Broncos. McCarthy is the perfect young, moldable piece for Sean Payton. 


Finally, The Atlanta Falcons. Desmond Ridder, that’s it. 


PRO COMPARISON


My Pro Comparison for JJ McCarthy is a Smaller Version of Carson Wentz. Before it all went off the rails for Wentz, he was an extremely athletic Quarterback with a Cannon for an arm. He was comfortable in the pocket, or rolling out to his left or right, and was able to hit moving targets on the run. McCarthy can do all of these things as well. Let’s hope McCarthy doesn’t fizzle out as fast as Wentz did in the NFL. 


DRAFT PROJECTION


I’ll be the first to admit that I am a little bit higher on McCarthy than most people and YouTubers. But I think it’s for good reason. While Michigan didn’t ask McCarthy to do too much, he did everything that they asked of him well. That also leaves a lot of Untapped potential for the wandering mind. JJ McCarthy is an incredible athlete with all the arm talent in the world, which is why I think McCarthy will be selected in the 1st round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

 

Read more NFL news from Stadium Rant here: NFL News


EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS: 


Order your favorite whiskey or spirit for the big game right to your doorstep and use code STADIUMRANT10 for a 10% discount at Caskers


Use code STADIUMRANT20 for a 20% discount at Bulletproof Coffee, SwingJuice and Performix


If you love to shotgun beers, use code STADIUMRANT10 at Wild Man Drinking Company.


MORE FROM STADIUM RANT:


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to our newsletter here.


Check out Stadium Rant Original shows on our Youtube channel and subscribe!


Give our socials Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok a follow for more great content!

bottom of page