PFF Sends Vikings Their Wolverine QB in Latest 2024 Mock Draft

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy kisses the championship trophy to celebrate the Wolverines' 34-13 win over Washington in the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

The 2024 NFL Draft officially begins a month from today.

The Minnesota Vikings could take a number of different directions this spring considering they recently made a trade to acquire the 23rd overall pick from the Houston Texans. Well, according to the latest Pro Football Focus mock draft, the Vikings will find a trade partner to move up and draft the Michigan Wolverine QB J.J. McCarthy.

Vikings Take the Wolverine QB in Latest PFF Mock Draft

Wolverine QB
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) reacts during the second quarter against the Washington Huskies in the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In order to select McCarthy, PFF analyst Brad Spielberger suggests that the Vikings will send Nos. 11 and 23 along with their 2025 third-round pick to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for the No. 5 overall pick. Here is the rationale behind the trade and selection:

Letting quarterback Kirk Cousins sign in free agency with the Atlanta Falcons had two hidden benefits for Minnesota:

First, the Falcons, who are slated to select at No. 8 overall in this year’s draft, will no longer look to trade up in the draft for a quarterback. Atlanta was arguably the one obvious team ahead of Minnesota in the trade-up sweepstakes, and now the Vikings are in pole position.

Second, the Vikings are currently slated to receive a third-round compensatory pick for Cousins in next year’s draft, as well as another for edge defender Danielle Hunter’s departure, making their own 2025 third-round pick that we included in this trade more expendable.

Minnesota signed quarterback Sam Darnold to a strong bridge deal at one year and $10 million, but we’re not buying that they’re not looking to move up in this draft. They might be on the phone at the time of this writing, for all we know.

Dec 2, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws during the first quarter of the Big Ten Championship game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

McCarthy is a talented passer and proven winner at the collegiate level, so it would make sense for the Vikings to target him if he is still available whenever they end up going on the clock on the evening of April 25th.

However, there have been rumblings recently that McCarthy could be a player that goes earlier than many previously believed. At the NFL league meetings, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce talked about the QB, and he mentioned that McCarthy should be a top-three pick this spring, saying, “J.J. McCarthy is a national champion, a winner, so I don’t know how he’s not in the top three if you want to be honest.”

Another note came from Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, who said on NFL Insiders, “When I’ve had conversations here with executives from other teams who know [Washington Commanders GM] Adam Peters well, know the situation well, the most popular answer for what [the Commanders] do at number two, is J.J. McCarthy.”

Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half in the 2024 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, there was a similar sentiment for Will Levis last spring before he fell out of the first round entirely. As a result, caution should be taken by any fans hearing and reading these statements because there is always the chance that they are simply smokescreens by teams to try and give themselves a leg up in the draft.

However, there is a growing sense that McCarthy could be taken even higher than No. 5, and if that happens to be the case, he may be off the board before the Vikings get a chance to select him.

Vikings fans can take solace that there is plenty of other quarterback talent in this draft class, though. If Minnesota were to trade up, they will do so with a specific player in mind, and they will select that player.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.