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J.J. McCarthy Heading to NFL Draft

Updated: Jan 14

JJ McCarthy let the Michigan Nation know that he will not be returning for his last year of eligibility but instead head to the 2024 NFL Draft.  McCarthy, heads to the Draft after leading the Wolverines to their first National Championship since the 1997 season.   Head coach Jim Harbaugh has referred to McCarthy as the best player to have played the position at Michigan.

The four biggest questions entering the offseason for the Wolverines were if head coach Jim Harbaugh and QB JJ McCarthy would return in 2024, and what penalties await the Wolverines after the 2 NCAA investigation concluded. J.J.'s decision is the first domino to fall and now Michigan fans are left to wait and see what happens when the other 3 do. 

McCarthy leaves Michigan with a record of 27-1 as the starting QB with 2 Big 10 championships along with a Rose Bowl and National championship win. The last game McCarthy played wasn’t the most impressive only going 10/18 and 140 yards with no TDs in the national championship game but when Michigan needed him to make the plays he did.  Over the season JJ completed 72.3% of his passes going 240/332 he had 2991 yards and 22 touchdowns with 4 interceptions. 


McCarthy comes into the draft ranked as the 5th best at the QB position.  McCarthy sits behind players like Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and Michael Penix Jr.  Being considered the fifth best at his position makes you ask the question should J.J. have remained at Michigan for one more season to improve his draft standing?

Size-wise McCarthy has the height that NFL teams are looking for at 6’3”, coming in right at the NFL average.  When it comes to weight JJ will need to look to build mass at only 202lbs he comes in below the NFL average of 219.8 pounds.  McCarthy has shown the speed to extend plays and run for first downs, a trait valuable to NFL GMs.

McCarthy has a strong arm and can fit the ball in tight spots.  He can use his feet to buy time in the backfield or run for positive yards.  McCarthy can scramble while keeping his eyes looking downfield to find the open receivers.  McCarthy wasn’t asked to carry his team much this season but when they needed him the most, he made the play necessary to win.  McCarthy has not shown the ability to take the top of the defense, he is very inconsistent when throwing downfield and late when using the middle of the field. 

McCarthy will need not only a great combine but pro day if he hopes to move up inside the top 15 in the NFL draft.  McCarthy realistically will come off the board in day 2 but could be a very late day 1 selection depending on team needs. 




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