Analyst Pounds the Table for a QB Prospect

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

Last spring, there was a ton of smoke around Will Levis potentially being a top-three pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Ultimately, the entire hype machine around Levis ended up being a well-coordinated smokescreen by the NFL as the Kentucky quarterback prospect was not selected until the second round by the Tennessee Titans.

This year, there is a similar phenomenon occurring with Michigan QB prospect J.J. McCarthy, but Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network is insistent that the hype is very real this time around.

Analyst Insists QB Prospect’s Hype Is “Not a Smokescreen”

QB Prospect
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

Jeremiah joined The Pat McAfee Show earlier this week and said, “I put it out in my last mock draft, and I have quarterbacks going one through four […] I’m talking to teams that are in the quarterback market, and teams that aren’t […] J.J. McCarthy is really highly thought of, and that’s not a smokescreen.”

These comments from Jeremiah come just days after Tom Pelissero suggested that McCarthy not only could be considered in the first four picks, but that the Washington Commanders could have the passer on their radar with the second overall pick.

Pelissero said on an episode of The 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.”

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

Considering the Vikings’ need for a starting quarterback after Kirk Cousins left Minnesota in favor of the Atlanta Falcons, the team very well could be in the market for McCarthy this spring. However, they hold the 11th and 23rd overall picks.

As a result, the Vikings may need to package these picks in order to trade up the board and select McCarthy or another quarterback prospect. That is almost certainly going to need to be the case if the hype around the Michigan product is indeed legitimate.

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.

As of now, McCarthy is widely viewed as the favorite to land with the Vikings this spring. However, if he does indeed get selected with the second overall pick, Minnesota may need to pivot to other passers such as Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye.

The 2024 NFL Draft gets started on Thursday, April 25th.

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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.