Report: Vikings Schedule Private Workout with a Top QB Prospect

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) watches a play from the sideline during the second half of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024.

The 2024 NFL Draft is about five and a half weeks away, and it promises to be a very important one for the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings recently acquired the 23rd overall pick, meaning that they now are one of three teams (Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears) to hold two first-round selections this spring. As a result, Minnesota is believed to be in prime position to make a trade, packaging Nos. 11 and 23 to move up into the top five or even the top three and select a quarterback.

Those beliefs will only continue to solidify after Monday morning when it was reported that the Vikings are scheduling a private workout with Michigan QB prospect J.J. McCarthy.

Vikings Schedule Private Workout with J.J. McCarthy

Vikings Schedule
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

During his latest edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, Albert Breer laid out the Kirk Cousins timeline as the veteran quarterback ultimately decided to leave Minnesota. Towards the end of the column, Breer mentioned how the Vikings have decided to move forward at the quarterback position since Cousins’ departure:

“Minnesota also moved forward at quarterback, first on a one-year, $10 million deal with Darnold, then on a trade with the Houston Texans (talks on it started before free agency) that’d give the Vikings a second first-round pick, arming them for a potential trade up. They also had plans in motion for quarterbacks coaches Josh McCown and Grant Udinski to be in Ann Arbor for Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy’s pro day this Friday. Minnesota also arranged a private workout on campus with McCarthy for next week, with O’Connell and Adofo-Mensah set to make that trip.”

McCarthy is coming off a national championship run with the Michigan Wolverines in which he completed 72.3% of his passes for 2991 yards, 22 TDs and four interceptions. During his two-year starting career at Michigan, the Wolverines went a combined 28-1 with their only loss coming against TCU in the College Football Playoff during the 2022 season.

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

Some have critiqued McCarthy as nothing more than a “game manager,” and some of these concerns may be valid. Because of Michigan’s elite rushing attack led by Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, McCarthy wasn’t asked to carry Michigan’s offense as much as other QBs.

However, when McCarthy needed to make plays, he came through more often than not. The quarterback led the FBS in completion percentage when throwing under pressure, per PFF, with a completion percentage above 63%. He has a very strong arm and is poised and always under control when facing duress.

Seeing as McCarthy only turned 21 years old in February, some of the holes that do exist in his game should be able to be smoothed over by a head coach, particularly one such as Kevin O’Connell, through development. His age also provides the opportunity for him to sit for a year or even two before being thrown into the starting lineup.

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

Overall, it appears that the Vikings may be zeroing in on deciding which QB they want to target in this spring’s draft. Michigan’s pro day will take place on March 22nd.

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

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.