INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 2:  J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines interacts with fans after the Big Ten Championship against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 2: J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines interacts with fans after the Big Ten Championship against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Just Another Guy: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

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STATE COLLEGE, PA – NOVEMBER 11: J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates after the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium on November 11, 2023 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

It seems as if the 2023 season had only begun and, just like that, it’s December. That brings us to Michigan quarterback (QB) Jonathan James “J.J.” McCarthy (who just happens to be one of the biggest “names” in the 2024 NFL Draft).

The thing is, I do not have him anywhere close to being one of the biggest names.

Earlier this year, when I evaluated McCarthy based on 2022 film (five games evaluated), I was left with more questions than answers.

How are other draft outlets seeing him?

It’s wild watching him on film and then seeing how others are grading him.

NBC Sports Chicago, Walter Football, The 33rd Team, Pro Football Network, Bleacher Report, CBS, San Diego Union Tribune, SBNation, Sporting News, Draftwire, Clutch Points, The Athletic, Fox Sports, 247Sports, Pro Football Focus, Yahoo Sports, and Fansided all have put first-round grades on McCarthy (nflmockdraftdatabase.com).

That is mind-blowing to me.

Want some more hype?

According to Bleacher Report, an NFL Scout said, “I think a lot of people haven’t done a deep dive on McCarthy yet, but when they do, he’s going to rise. He would dominate an event like the Senior Bowl.” That scout went on to call the Wolverines star “an athletic Kirk Cousins.”

His head coach, Jim Harbaugh, has talked him up too, even calling him a “once-in-a-generation talent.”

The Yanish Report

A shifty mobile runner when he needs to be, but he only does that sparingly. He is also the definition of a dink-and-dunk passer, throwing screens and short routes like none other. His ball placement and accuracy beyond 20 yards are just not good. His arm strength is also a concern. He looks like he really has to step into a throw to get it anywhere deep. Throwing for 2,630 yards with 19 touchdowns (TDs) and just four interceptions this year isn’t very impressive. McCarthy is a player that I would put as a career backup in the NFL.

For the win

One thing that will never change in my evaluations is the fact that I need to see the prospect making consistent progress. It doesn’t matter if it’s just cleaning up mistakes or a full-on change in what they have shown in the past.

No matter how close McCarthy gets to the National Championship, I do not get the unnecessary hype behind him. I cannot and will not change my previous grade on him. He runs a system and quarterbacks do that every day. Not to mention, Michigan is stacked at the running back. That makes his life easy.

Like I said in my first evaluation, his ball security is a great thing.

Whatever transpires on draft day, McCarthy will probably go higher than his talent allows. That is going to be something that should never happen.

My 2024 NFL Draft Value: Sixth-Round

2023 Game Film Evidence

Rutgers

Michigan State

Penn State

Ohio State

William Yanish III is a lifelong football fan. He’s from the little town of Crawford, Colorado. Along the way, he’s lived in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and Brookings, Oregon. Quarterback Joe Montana was his idol growing up. A little bit of CTE from life’s adventures killed his dreams as a football player. Now, he is an aspiring writer and Draft Analyst at FirstRoundMock.com. He’s a fanatic with a dream, which is coming true.

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