Michigan star quarterback J.J. McCarthy has been added to the list of potential under-center solutions for the Denver Broncos. McCarthy made a significant announcement on Sunday, revealing his decision to forgo his return to the National Champion Wolverines and instead declare for the 2024 NFL draft.
McCarthy, who will be celebrating his 21st birthday on January 20, has established himself as a formidable force in the world of college basketball. With an impressive record of 27-1 spanning two seasons at Ann Arbor, he has consistently demonstrated his ability to come out on top in crucial matchups. In a surprising turn of events, McCarthy’s placement in the Heisman Trophy voting was a mere 10th. However, this could potentially be attributed to his involvement in Michigan’s run-first offense.
In terms of ball control, McCarthy’s performance has been exceptional, with a mere nine interceptions thrown throughout the past two seasons. There is speculation that Broncos head coach Sean Payton might be attracted to McCarthy’s strong offensive skills and leadership qualities. In a surprising turn of events, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh faced not one, but two suspensions during the previous season, resulting in a total of six missed games. However, McCarthy, on the other hand, managed to maintain his performance without any significant setbacks.
The young quarterback delivered an exceptional performance, showcasing his skills under immense pressure during the college playoffs. McCarthy’s exceptional field vision and his ability to execute a wide range of throws from various angles are bound to catch the attention of other professional coaches during the pre-draft process.
The Broncos may face some challenges with McCarthy’s diverse skill set, as it could potentially boost his draft stock in the NFL. However, it’s important to note that there are certain weaknesses in his game that need to be considered. He is still in need of improvement in his passing ability, particularly in terms of touch and feel. Coaching will be necessary for him to fully develop his potential at the next level.
As a result, McCarthy is likely to receive a second-round grade from many teams prior to the draft. There is a strong possibility that once NFL teams have the opportunity to interview this accomplished individual, it could significantly shift the balance in favor of the quarterback in terms of his draft stock.
Despite these factors, Coach Harbaugh remained unwavering in his endorsement of McCarthy’s preparedness for the NFL. “I cannot deny that I believe he is ready for the NFL,” Harbaugh stated in December. “I believe he is fully prepared for the NFL.”
If other teams believe they lack the necessary time to further develop McCarthy, it could potentially benefit the Broncos, who hold the No. 12 overall pick in the draft. Denver may consider trading down if it believes other teams are uncertain about McCarthy’s potential.
McCarthy may find himself in a situation where the team that selects him could benefit from exercising patience, similar to what Jordan Love experienced. An increasingly cautious strategy could become more popular in the NFL as the Green Bay Packers quarterback excels and consistently outperforms strong defenses, such as the Dallas Cowboys.
There is a chance that Russell Wilson, who was recently replaced as the starting quarterback, could potentially come back as a temporary option for the Broncos in the upcoming season. McCarthy, a relatively inexperienced draft pick, could potentially gain valuable knowledge by learning from the nine-time Pro Bowler. The Broncos’ search for a solution to their quarterback problem remains wide open, with no possibilities being ruled out.