2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: J.J. McCarthy

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report - QB J.J. McCarthy

The NFL Draft will begin on April 25, 2024. We take a look at quarterback J.J. McCarthy, a proven winner and athletic quarterback out of the University of Michigan.

With a 5-star rating and a string of impressive collegiate accolades, McCarthy is a standout quarterback whose talent and skill have left a mark on the football field. A first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection, McCarthy was also a finalist for the prestigious Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award given to the nation’s top quarterback. 

This season, McCarthy boasts an impressive 72.3 completion percentage, setting a school record, all while amassing 2,991 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, and three rushing touchdowns. He also holds the lowest interception rate in Michigan history at 1.20 percent. His remarkable career includes a national championship, three Big Ten titles, and an impressive 26-1 record as a starter, thus solidifying himself as a top prospect in this year’s draft class.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft scouting reports.

J.J. McCarthy, Quarterback, Michigan

Name: J.J. McCarthy
Jersey: No. 9
Position: Quarterback
School: University of Michigan
Class: Junior
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 219 lbs.


J.J. McCarthy’s Strengths

McCarthy is an athletic quarterback who possesses great footwork to smoothly navigate the pocket effectively and extend plays. He showed a good feel for where he was during the play as he understood when to climb out of the pocket and avoid the rush at the right moments. 


McCarthy’s arm talent is also up there amongst the best in this draft class as he can throw across all three levels of the field. He shows a keen sense of timing, delivering passes with precision and leading his receivers away from coverage. His ability to handle pressure situations and excel in high-leverage moments sets him apart. McCarthy’s confidence in tight windows and his willingness to stand tall under pressure make him a fearless competitor. 

Despite playing in a run-heavy system, McCarthy still displayed his ability as a passer, making the right decisions at crucial moments. His success in play-action and on third downs highlight his composure and decision-making under duress. All in all, McCarthy’s track record of success and reputation as a winner make him an enticing prospect for NFL teams seeking a poised, playmaking quarterback.

J.J. McCarthy’s Weaknesses

Just like every other prospect that comes through the draft, McCarthy isn’t perfect. He has some weaknesses that will limit him at the next level.


First, McCarthy needs to improve his consistency in terms of his accuracy. He can make the big-time throw from time to time, but there were also occasions when he would simply miss his target, particularly on the deep ball. There were also times when his throw would be a bit behind the receiver, which negated the opportunity for yards after the catch.

McCarthy also demonstrated questionable decision-making. There were plays where he would force a throw down the field rather than taking the simple check-down. In the NFL, those are plays he cannot afford to miss as every yard counts.

Finally, there are questions surrounding his limited production at the college level. Yes, he played in a run-heavy system, but we still don’t know how McCarthy will perform in a pass-happy offense. Given his inconsistencies, it’s possible that he was protected by the Michigan coaching staff and may ultimately be a system quarterback.

Pro Comparison: Geno Smith

For McCarthy’s comparison, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith immediately comes to mind. Similar to McCarthy, Smith possesses the ability to extend the play with his legs and still make the required throw on all three levels. Furthermore, Smith thrives off of play-action, something that McCarthy did well at Michigan.

Smith has also displayed signs of questionable decision-making and occasionally missed throws.

Draft Projection: Top-10 Pick

J.J. McCarthy is an interesting player who may be selected higher than warranted due to the number of quarterback-needy teams in this draft. Given the demand at the quarterback position, McCarthy will be drafted within the first 10 picks. 

The Minnesota Vikings stand out as the best landing spot for McCarthy as they have good offensive weapons in Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson, plus a great offensive play-caller in head coach Kevin O’Connell, who runs a quarterback-friendly offense. Other potential fits include the New York Giants and Denver Broncos, two teams seeking their franchise quarterback.

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