Vikings Meet with Two More QBs at the Combine

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Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

If it wasn’t already clear that the Minnesota Vikings are interested in drafting a quarterback, it certainly has become so throughout the NFL Combine.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Vikings met with each of Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and Caleb Williams, who are projected to be the top three quarterbacks off the board in April. Then, during the QB media availability on Friday, it was revealed that the Vikings have met with two more QBs who are expected to be among the top selections in this spring’s draft.

Vikings Meet with Two More QBs

Vikings Meet with Two More QBs
Sep 16, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws against the Bowling Green Falcons in the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

Ben Goessling had the scoop on J.J. McCarthy’s meeting with the Vikings. The Star Tribune reporter tweeted, “Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy has had lots of formal interviews at the combine; he met with Kevin O’Connell and Josh McCown in his formal interview with the #Vikings.”

McCarthy had high praises for the Vikings when he took the podium, saying, ” Coach O’Connell led the whole thing. Everything they talked about wanting out of a QB aligns with what I want. Just being able to get on the board with them, go through their plays, it was special.”

The Michigan quarterback has been one of the high risers on draft boards in recent weeks. McCarthy delivers accurate passes at all three levels of the field, and this accuracy is an area that has improved in each season he’s spent in the Michigan offense. The velocity on his throws allows him to fit passes into tight windows downfield. He leads his receivers well, allowing them to pick up yards after the catch as well.

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

On top of his throwing ability, McCarthy has a knack for maneuvering around the pocket. He has the athletic ability to take off and pick up yards with his legs when protection breaks down. This certainly isn’t something he does a ton of, but it’s a useful skill to have in his back pocket.

Some have questioned McCarthy’s workload over his two years as the starter in Michigan, though. He averaged just 22.1 pass attempts per game during the Wolverines’ run to the national championship. He was more of a game manager with the Wolverines because of the RB talent in Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards. As a result, while he was able to make plays through the air, he simply wasn’t asked to carry the offense very much.

Washington QB Michael Penix

This could prove to be a very important week for Michael Penix. Not only can he put on a show during the throwing drills with all three of Daniels, Maye, and Williams sitting out, but NFL teams inevitably be very interested in his medicals.

Penix’s injury history could play a pretty large role in NFL teams’ confidence in drafting him. He suffered season-ending injuries in each of his first four seasons, and while the past two years largely have seen Penix remain healthy, it’s hard to ignore the idea that he could become injury prone.

Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the Texas Longhorns in the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Still, the Vikings have opted to meet with the quarterback this week. Andrew Krammer of The Star Tribune tweeted the following quote from Penix during his media session on Friday, “It was great. I feel like that’s a good organization over there. They show a lot of good things, got a lot of good players as well. I felt very confident in that meeting.”

When Penix is able to stand and the pocket and throw, he is a very talented passer. He puts plenty of velocity on his throws, which allows him to fit passes into tight windows and push the ball downfield. He can go through his progressions well and reads coverages very well.

As a result of Penix’s ability to deliver accurate passes downfield, Washington built much of their offense to play to that strength. During the 2023 season, Penix led all of the FBS in pass attempts of 20+ yards (117), per PFF. He completed 51 of them for 1787 yards, 16 TDs, and seven interceptions.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Focus and Sports Reference CFB.

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.