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J.J. McCarthy

J.J. McCarthy

QB - Minnesota Vikings

Height: 6' 3"Weight: 219 lbsAge: 21College: Michigan

2024 Outlook

Strength of Schedule
QB Rank: 5th (easy)
Draft Rank (ECR) #163
Best / Worst #128 / #284
ADP #164

Roster %

 
Yahoo
0%
 
ESPN
22%
 
FanDuel
 
DraftKings

The Vikings have tabbed McCarthy as the successor to Kirk Cousins, trading up one spot to select the University of Michigan product with the No. 10 pick in the draft. McCarthy has a strong arm, good mobility and an impressive track record of success that includes a national championship last season and a 61-3 record as a starter since high school. McCarthy steps into a good situation, with Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison at wide receiver and T.J. Hockenson at tight end (though Hockenson sustained a major knee injury late last year). Rookie struggles may be inevitable, but McCarthy has a chance to provide QB2 fantasy value as a rookie.

J.J. McCarthy posted the third-highest adjusted completion percentage in the nation (80%) in 2023. McCarthy's throw air time below an expectation also ranked first in the class (-0.13). This is determined by throw distance and the quarterback's footwork when throwing. Per Sports Info Solutions a lower number is better, because throws of the same distance are taking less time to get to the target.
Given the analytics background of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, I am not surprised that Minnesota selected J.J. McCarthy in the 1st round, who is only 21 years old. I'd expect McCarthy to match or even exceed Williams/Daniels in terms of team success and post strong passing numbers. He might not be a true fantasy difference-maker without rushing, but can he be a fringe backend fantasy QB1 in full Brock Purdy fashion? Yup.

McCarthy is a playmaker from the pocket. He's adept at buying time with his legs when it's called for and isn't scared to go off-script. While on the move, he keeps his eyes downfield as he surveys the field. McCarthy has a top-shelf pocket presence. He has quiet feet and will climb the pocket and hang tough in the face of pressure. McCarthy will roll out when it's required and can fire bullets on the move. I won't be surprised to see him utilized on the move with boots more in the NFL. He has the arm talent to change his arm angle when it's needed and still fire rockets. McCarthy paces well through his reads, consistently getting to his second and third options. He has no problems letting a play develop and hitting a receiver with a second-window throw versus zone coverage. The former Wolverine has all the arm strength needed for the NFL. His film is littered with second-level darts to the boundary and into tight windows. His accuracy and ball placement need to improve some on deep tosses, especially on go balls on the boundary, but it's nothing to see him hit a receiver in stride on a post downfield. He won't be confused as a true dual-threat quarterback, but he can add some value as a rusher. McCarthy is a linear runner who displays some open-field maneuverability with good bend and change of direction skills and a well-placed jab step. He's no statue and could see a handful of designed runs weekly in the NFL. Dynasty Outlook: OH BABY! It happened. McCarthy to Minnesota. Someone pinch me. I must be dreaming. The Vikings got their stud franchise quarterback, and we should all rejoice. McCarthy's haters don't want to see it because he will bury all the bad takes and lazy slander that was tossed at him during the process. Last year, after Kirk Cousins was lost to injury, we got a wonderful look at how good of a play-caller Kevin O'Connell is with Joshua Dobbs and Nick Mullens under center. In the eight games these two signal callers played at least 70% of the offensive snaps, they finished as the QB11 or higher in weekly fantasy scoring 63% of the time. That would have been the sixth-highest QB1 scoring rate in fantasy last year. McCarthy has underrated wheels (the sixth-best three-cone time among all prospects that tested at the combine). O'Connell will utilize McCarthy's legs, which will help pad his weekly ceiling and floor once he is the starting quarterback in Minny. Sam Darnold could draw a few starts to open the season, so there could be a nice buy-low window after your rookie draft to take advantage of. McCarthy was my QB2 pre-draft, and he remains my QB2 post-draft. McCarthy should be gone by the 1.07 or 1.08 pick in Superflex rookie drafts. In 1QB formats, look for him to be gone in the back half of the first round. If he falls past 1.09/1.10, it's time to trade up and pounce.