Monday, May 27, 2024

USA TODAY Sports predicts where J.J. McCarthy goes in 2024 NFL draft

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We’re just under two weeks away from the 2024 NFL draft and the player that has most prognosticators in something of a quandary is Michigan football quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

McCarthy wasn’t even considered a top-flight NFL draft pick before the regular season ended last year, though he was in some first-round mock drafts. Before the scouting combine, most thought of him as being a late first day pick, but after a stellar throwing session there and at his pro day, McCarthy started climbing rapidly up the draft boards. He went from being outside of the top 10 to suddenly a potential top five pick.

But many draftniks aren’t sure where he’ll go and who he’ll go above. Caleb Williams is the consensus top quarterback but there’s debate as to who’s next. USA TODAY Sports released its latest mock draft and decided that McCarthy will be picked behind Williams and Jayden Daniels but ahead of Drake Maye.

3. New England Patriots – J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Might the Patriots’ potential decision between McCarthy – who is being hosted by New England on Monday, according to multiple reports – and Drake Maye be the inflection point of the entire first round? New coach Jerod Mayo has raved about the latter signal-caller, but McCarthy’s continued ascent – both as a player and prospect – could take him all the way to the top three. No matter the pick, however, New England might not want to throw its rookie quarterback into the fray right away unless it can significantly upgrade its skill-position talent later in the draft.

The Patriots make sense as the franchise reportedly had dinner with McCarthy on Sunday night. While they may covet him, there have been rumors that Washington is enamored with him and may take him at No. 2 overall. That could be smoke to try to entice someone to trade up to that spot, but there is certainly some embers that are out there emanating from the DMV.

The 2024 NFL draft will start on Thursday, April 25 and go through Saturday, April 27.

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