J.J. McCarthy taken in 1st Round of 2024 NFL Draft

J.J. McCarthy taken in 1st Round of 2024 NFL Draft

April 26, 2024
J.J. McCarthy

The Minnesota Vikings traded up one spot in the 2024 NFL Draft to select Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy. He was taken #10 overall after the Vikings swapped picks with the New York Jets, who moved down to #11 and took Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu.

McCarthy is the highest drafted quarterback to ever come out of Michigan, topping his head coach in college, Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh was taken #26 overall in the 1987 draft by the Chicago Bears. McCarthy is also the first Michigan quarterback to be selected since Jake Rudock (6th round, #191 overall by the Detroit Lions) in 2016.

McCarthy went 27-1 as a starter at Michigan over 2022 and 2023, with the lone loss coming to TCU in the 2023 College Football Playoff. He threw for 6,226 yards, 49 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions from 2021-2023. He set Michigan records for completion percentage in a season (72.3% in 2023) and in a career (67.6%) and won a national championship in 2023.

Of the quarterback-needy teams in the 2024 draft, I felt like Minnesota was the best fit for McCarthy. McCarthy’s main competition to start will be journeyman Sam Darnold, but they have a good cast of weapons that includes standout wide receivers (Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison), an upper-echelon tight end (T.J. Hockenson), and a productive running back (Aaron Jones). I would like to see the Vikings beef up their running game with a complementary running back and/or some offensive line help, but they may address those issues in the draft or in subsequent years.

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