Player Spotlight: Michigan QB J.J McCarthy


Player Spotlight: Michigan QB J.J McCarthy

College: Michigan
Age: 20
Position: Quarterback
Height/Weight: 6’3″/215 pounds
40-yard dash time: 4.55


-Athleticism: McCarthy is an exceptional athlete. He doesn’t run often, but he has the speed to threaten defenses on RPOs and bootlegs. He can take off and gash the defense if they play man coverage with his legs if needed. With additional strength, it’s likely he’ll be utilized even more as a runner at the next level, making him an even more dual threat on the field.

-Above-Average Arm Strength: He possesses very good arm strength to deliver throws downfield and fit passes into tight windows with good velocity. While his arm isn’t as strong as someone like Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton, it is certainly above the threshold that you need to be a starting NFL quarterback.

-High Football IQ: McCarthy’s intelligence is apparent when you turn on a Michigan game. He reads the field quicker than any other quarterback in college football. What makes this so impressive is that McCarthy is only 20 years old. It’s rare to find a quarterback who can process information like him at such a young age. McCarthy is an elite decision-maker and seems to find the open receiver on every play.


-Inconsistent Ball Placement: While McCarthy can make every throw on the field, his ball placement lacks consistency. He occasionally misses on short passes, making it harder for receivers to gain yards after the catch.

-Refinement Needed: Downfield: McCarthy needs to improve his touch. He likes to rocket in every throw and doesn’t always layer throws well.

-Passive playstyle: McCarthy could stand to take more shots down the field. While he is great at taking care of the football, at times he can be too passive. The best quarterbacks in the NFL know when the right time is to take a chance deep for a big play. McCarthy will need to figure out that balance at the next level.

2024 NFL Draft Outlook:

McCarthy’s rise to prominence as Michigan’s starting quarterback during his sophomore season has captured the attention of NFL scouts. With the return of star running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, Michigan’s offensive strategy remains very run-oriented. However, McCarthy has shown major improvement as a passer so far in the 2023 season.

To solidify his status as a top NFL prospect, McCarthy must translate his undeniable talent into consistent production during the season. His young age of 20 years old and physical attributes make him a potential early-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Pro Comparison: Alex Smith

McCarthy’s style of play draws comparisons to former NFL quarterback Alex Smith, also known for his quick decision-making, excellent game-management skills, and great mobility. Both McCarthy and Smith share a high football IQ and accuracy, making McCarthy’s NFL career potential reminiscent of Smith’s successful career.

Draft Projection: Top 50 pick

McCarthy’s skill set and potential make him a highly sought-after prospect in the early rounds of the NFL Draft. Teams seeking a franchise quarterback will closely consider him, envisioning a promising NFL career ahead.