One bold NFL prediction for Vikings No. 10 overall pick J.J. McCarthy in 2024

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Vikings rookie QB J.J. McCarthy
Vikings quarterback J.J. McCarthy
Vikings quarterback J.J. McCarthy / Jaime Crawford/GettyImages

No quarterback saw his stock rise more in the 2024 NFL Draft than J.J. McCarthy.  Selected with the No. 10 overall pick in the draft, the Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback landed in the best situation possible as the fifth quarterback taken in the top 10.

In losing Kirk Cousins in free agency, the Vikings quickly turned their attention to the draft for their next franchise quarterback.  A deep draft, it was highly rumored that Minnesota would need to trade into the top 5 to select one of the top QBs not named Caleb Williams.  There was a lot of buzz around the Vikings and Drake Maye, selected with the No. 3 overall pick by the New England Patriots, but the realistic choice was McCarthy.

Vikings got their man without giving up too much in the 2024 NFL Draft

Ironically, the Vikings only needed to move up a spot to land McCarthy and for both the rookie quarterback and the team, it appears to be a perfect match because of what the Vikings have around the Michigan product.  Not only is head coach Kevin O’Connell the ideal head coach, but the team also has a foundation of playmakers around McCarthy who will help him grow and not have to do too much. 

While his numbers at Michigan didn’t jump off the charts, what McCarthy demonstrated at the NFL combine is a signal caller who is a leader and someone players gravitate towards.

Beyond his arm strength and accuracy, those are measurables that make a quarterback successful in the NFL. 

A lot of excitement surrounding Vikings rookie quarterback

McCarthy will have to compete for the starting role in 2024 with veteran quarterback Sam Darnold.  If he doesn’t win the role as a rookie, the team, particularly Vikings new linebacker Blake Cashman has been impressed with McCarthy and marveled about the young quarterback during an appearance on The Jim Rome Show.  Not only does he see him as a leader, but he also sees greatness in his future.

Impressed with the leadership he sees in him as well as his arm talent, Cashman forecasted his own bold prediction for McCarthy.

"He's gonna be a great player for a long time, and I can't wait to continue to see his growth," Cashman said, as transcribed by "Not only as a quarterback with his skills, but also becoming an even smarter player."

Cashman’s comments are a great example of that aura McCarthy has with teammates.  He had it at Michigan in helping lead the Wolverines to the national championship and the Vikings are counting on that leadership on the pro level.

J.J. McCarthy will beat out Sam Darnold

So, what can be expected of McCarthy in his rookie season?  What bold prediction does NFL Mocks see in crystal ball for the 2024 NFL season?

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McCarthy will beat out Darnold and become the Week 1 starter.  Although the Vikings want to take it slow with the No. 10 overall pick, they will see an offense that will be more balanced with McCarthy under center.  He will showcase the arm strength necessary to get the ball to Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison, but the discipline to be more of a game manager until the Vikings feel comfortable really unleashing his talents.

In all, the Vikings with McCarthy will make the NFC North one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL.