QB Prospect Oft-Connected to Vikings Officially Declares for 2024 NFL 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 Minnesota Vikings are widely expected to be interested in selecting a QB prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The expectation is that there will be a ton of talent at the position in this upcoming draft, and that theory only further solidified when a QB prospect who has often been connected to the Vikings officially declared for the draft.

That QB prospect is J.J. McCarthy, who just a week ago, helped the Michigan Wolverines win a national championship against the Washington Huskies.

QB Prospect Connected to Vikings Declares for Draft

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

McCarthy made the announcement in a lengthy note posted on social media, thanking a number of people for helping him along the way in his football career. The QB began that note by saying, “After three incredible years at the University of Michigan, I have decided to enter the 2024 NFL Draft.”

With McCarthy at quarterback, Michigan has found success that they haven’t reached in decades. Over his two years as a starter, the QB helped lead the Wolverines to a combined 27-1 record with their only loss coming during the 2022 season in the Fiesta Bowl against the TCU Horned Frogs.

Then, of course, the 2023 season saw the Wolverines go 15-0 on their way to their first national championship since 1997. McCarthy threw for 2991 yards, 22 touchdowns, and just four interceptions while completing 72.3% of his passes.

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

Throughout this season, McCarthy displayed an elite level of accuracy that we had not seen throughout portions of his first year as a starter, which is promising for his draft stock this spring.

However, there is the question of how much McCarthy benefited from being in Michigan’s offense. The Wolverines have a very strong offensive line protecting McCarthy, and they certainly have been a run-first offense with the two-headed monster of Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards in the backfield.

Even still, there is plenty of talent that has allowed McCarthy to find success when he does need to throw the ball. The QB has a strong arm that allows him to fit passes into tight windows, and he displays incredible poise in the pocket for being a 20-year-old quarterback.

McCarthy’s skillset combined with the age suggests there is still another level of his game to be unlocked, especially considering the growth he made just from 2022 to 2023.

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy looks to pass against Ohio State during the first half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.

It should be noted that the Vikings have had their eye on McCarthy for awhile as well. In Week 6 of the college football season, the Minnesota Gophers and Michigan Wolverines met in a Big Ten matchup. Darren Wolfson of KSTP reported that the Vikings had folks in attendance for the game.

In that game, McCarthy completed 14 of his 20 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown as Michigan absolutely dominated the Gophers on their way to a 52-10 victory.

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

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. 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.