NFL Draft Rumors: Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy the prize target for Giants, Vikings, and Broncos?

NFL teams are jockeying position to draft J.J. McCarthy
Michigan Wolverines QB J.J. McCarthy
Michigan Wolverines QB J.J. McCarthy / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

With top quarterback prospects Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels expected to be off the board after the first three selections of the 2024 NFL Draft, other NFL teams needy of a franchise signal caller are turning their attention towards Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy.

As a QB who has seen his stock rise after the NFL Combine, McCarthy is turning out to be one of the more intriguing prospects in the upcoming draft set to take place April 25-27.  Unless a team like the New England Patriots see more value in McCarthy than Maye or Daniels, the quarterback who led his team to the 2023 National Championship will have teams outside the top 3 maneuvering to draft him.

2024 NFL Draft rumors: Giants trending to select J.J. McCarthy No. 6 overall

One of those teams is the New York Giants, who have a decision to make when it comes to Daniel Jones.  Do they stick with the No, 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft or do they use their current No. 6 pick on McCarthy. 

Intriguing decision given the Giants don’t necessarily need a QB and can instead use that pick on one of the top playmakers in the draft to make Jones better.  SNY’s Connor Hughes reported on Friday that the Giants are leaning more towards drafting McCarthy in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Hughes writes:

“The Giants remain open-minded as it pertains to the draft. All options are on the table at No. 6, even after signing [Drew] Lock, sources told SNY. 

The main position to watch here is quarterback, specifically Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. The buzz is there that he’s the player the Giants want.

That makes the Arizona Cardinals pick at No. 4 or the Los Angles Chargers pick at No. 5 even more valuable to teams like the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos if they are also targeting McCarthy. 

Prior to the NFL Combine, the former Michigan star quarterback was predicted in many mock drafts to be available in the outside the top 10 and possible fall to those teams, but if the Giants are swaying to make him the 4th QB taking in the top six picks, one of those two teams will have to make a major splash to move up ahead of the Giants.

Expect the Minnesota Vikings to make a strong push to draft McCarthy

Again, the Patriots are a team to watch because they could decide to trade back if they don’t see any of the top 4 quarterbacks as the right fit.  That would be crazy for a Patriots team in desperate need of a franchise type quarterback. 

NFL Draft prospect J.J. McCarthy
NFL Combine - J.J. McCarthy / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

So, the thought of a team like the Vikings dinging the No. 11 and No. 23 picks to move into the No. 3 spot to have their choice between Daniels, Maye or McCarthy would give the Patriots something to think about, but it’s more likely the Vikings can entice the Cardinals or Chargers who may value two first round picks to fill other needs.

After losing Kirk Cousins to the Atlanta Falcons in NFL free agency, the Vikings trade with the Texans to gain another first rounder appears to be ammunition for them to make a play at one of the top 4 quarterbacks, which is likely McCarthy who would fit in nicely with the Vikings given the playmakers he will have around him. 

Sean Payton, Denver Broncos could make a splash for McCarthy

Another team buzzing to move up is the Denver Broncos where head coach Sean Payton could see another Drew Brees in McCarthy.

Fox Sports college football analyst RJ Young writes:

"I think Sean Payton looks at J.J. McCarthy and sees Drew Brees. I see Drew Brees. I see [a] more athletic Drew Brees. I see Drew Brees with a really, really explosive arm. There's nothing that J.J. can't do with a football in his hands. Now, given that he can do what you ask him to, the kind of offense that Sean Payton would like to run, he'd love to trust the quarterback.”

Like the Vikings, the Broncos will have some offensive firepower for McCarthy to step in and work with.  With players like Courtland Sutton and Marvin Mims, a coach like Payton can utilize McCarthy’s skillset and put him in a position to be successful as an NFL quarterback. 

If it wasn’t for the Giants interest in McCarthy, both the Vikings and Broncos would be willing to wait for McCarthy to fall to them with the Falcons out of the picture for a top quarterback.  It will be exciting to see which of these teams land a quarterback seen as a natural leader on the field.  Unless a team like the Las Vegas Raiders swoop in and steal the buzz, these are the three most likeliest destinations for J.J. McCarthy.