Don’t be surprised if J.J. McCarthy is first QB taken in NFL Draft


This is Jim Harbaugh being Jim Harbaugh.
On Friday, the new Chargers head coach gave a ringing endorsement of his old Michigan quarterback, J.J. McCarthy, whom Harbaugh coached on Michigan’s College Football Playoff national championship team this past season — going as far to say McCarthy could be this year’s top QB picked in the draft.
FS1 sports talk host Colin Cowherd had Harbaugh on “The Herd,” where he asked the now-former Michigan head coach what to expect of McCarthy as a pro.
“Arm talent, athleticism, it factor,” Harbaugh said of the signal-caller’s top attributes.
But then Harbaugh added: “Don’t be surprised if, when he’s he goes [in the 2024 NFL Draft], he’s the No. 1 quarterback off the board.
“That’s my prediction right now.”
Harbaugh continued, doubling down on McCarthy: “When people get a load of J.J. and how he could throw the ball, how he spins it, his athleticism, his intelligence. Talk about it factor, he’s got it, the competitiveness that he has, and they get around him, they really start digging in, and they start talking to him, yeah, that’s an early prediction for the 2024 NFL Draft.”
Jim Harbaugh had a bold prediction for J.J. McCarthy’s draft stock. The Herd/X
McCarthy announced his entry to the 2024 NFL Draft last month following Michigan’s national championship victory.
McCarthy, who declared for the draft after completing his junior season, finished 10th in Heisman voting this past season after throwing for 2,991 yards and 22 touchdowns with a 167.4 passer rating.
The 6-foot-3, 197-pound signal-caller also rushed for 202 yards and three scores on 64 carries last season.
J.J. McCarthy head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines celebrate after defeating the Washington Huskies during the 2024 CFP National Championship on January 8, 2024. Getty Images
But the top quarterbacks expected to be taken in the draft are USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr.
Pro Football Focus ranks McCarthy sixth among quarterbacks and at No. 57 on their draft big board.
A recent mock draft does have McCarthy going in the first round but as the fourth QB to be taken off the board.
Quarterbacks will be featured at the NFL Combine on March 2, and the draft starts on April 25 in Detroit.


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