Rookie Profile: JJ McCarthy

JJ McCarthy Rookie Profile

Rookie Profile: JJ McCarthy, Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings

Welcome to the Rookie Profile for JJ McCarthy, a Quarterback from Michigan. He is from LaGrange Park, Illinois, and was a 4-star recruit out of Nazareth Academy.

In 2021, as a freshman, he appeared in 11 games for the Wolverines. In that time he totaled 516 passing yards with 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He was able to contribute 152 rushing yards on 25 attempts.

His 2022 as a sophomore he appeared in 14 games where his production skyrocketed. He threw for 2,719 yards with 22 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Once again he contributed a solid rushing total, adding in 306 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns on 70 attempts on his way to a College Football Playoff appearance.

In his final season at Michigan in 2023, he led the Wolverines to their first National Championship since 1997. He appeared in 15 games and threw for 2,991 yards with 22 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Once again he was able to add in production on the ground with 202 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns on 64 attempts.


JJ McCarthy

Draft Capital & Landing Spot

Draft Capital- Round 1 Pick 10

  • McCarthy was one of the many quarterbacks who went in the early quarterback run. While some experts had him projected to go as high as second overall, he fell to tenth.
  • Despite his minor slide in the draft, he was still able to secure top-10 draft capital, even at QB overall. This is excellent draft capital for McCarthy and when you factor in Kirk Cousins being shipped out to Atlanta it indicates that the Vikings are committed to him as the quarterback of the future.
  • There are a wide array of beliefs about McCarthy as an NFL quarterback, but the one certain thing is that he is going to get multiple years to prove his worth.

Landing Spot- Minnesota Vikings

  • The Vikings quickly became an ideal landing spot for a quarterback after Cousins headed to Atlanta. McCarthy arrives in a situation where he is the only reasonable starting quarterback on the roster. Sam Darnold is the backup and even though you can expect the preseason posturing from the Vikings over naming the starter, there is no chance they invested this heavily in McCarthy and traded away Cousins to make McCarthy sit.
  • The upside here is immense. Minnesota has an excellent duo of young receivers Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison, as well as tight end TJ Hockenson. If McCarthy can be serviceable he will have every advantage at his disposal.

Team Depth Chart

Expected Role: Starting Quarterback

Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart

Depth Chart via Fantasy Pros

Fantasy Impact

JJ McCarthy is a risky pick in rookie drafts. He has a limited college track record and is only 21, so he is more of a mystery bag than a finished project, but with this landing spot and draft capital, he is sure to fly up draft boards quickly.

McCarthy is one of my favorites in this class and could easily be a franchise quarterback for years to come, but there is also an admittedly elevated level of risk in selecting him.

This is the kind of pick that builds a legacy for a general manager or gets him fired. It’s also the kind of draft pick that will either set your fantasy team up for the next ten years or have you starting another rebuild in two years.

Check out The Fantasy Football Universe Sneak Peek Video of JJ McCarthy.

Check out our 2024 Rookie Rankings Page for a full breakdown of this rookie class.

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