Minnesota Vikings QB J.J. McCarthy Gets Surprising Prediction

JJ McCarthy
NFL Analysis Network

The Minnesota Vikings are ushering in a new era after Kirk Cousins left in free agency. Cousins had been the Vikings starting quarterback for the past six seasons before signing with the Atlanta Falcons this offseason.

To replace Cousins, the Vikings brought in a few options. Minnesota signed former third overall pick Sam Darnold to a one-year $10 million deal. It also drafted Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy with the ninth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Vikings also have Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall as quarterbacks on their roster. The quarterback situation will be an intriguing storyline as they compete for the starting spot.

Outside of the quarterbacks, star wide receiver Justin Jefferson leads the offense. Jefferson, 25, signed a four-year $140 million extension to stay with the Vikings long-term.

Jefferson only appeared in ten games, finishing with 68 receptions for 1,074 yards and five touchdowns.

The Vikings’ offense bolsters some other notable talent, including Jordan Addison, TJ Hockenson, and Aaron Jones, who joined the team in free agency.

Jones only appeared in 11 games for the Green Bay Packers in the 2023 season but played well in those games. Jones ended the season with a five-game streak of rushing for over 100 yards, which set a Packers record.

He could be a very impactful addition to the Vikings’ offense.

With the whole Vikings offense laid out, let’s examine a surprising prediction about their rookie quarterback.

Surprising prediction for JJ McCarthy

The Vikings’ play-by-play announcer, Paul Allen, predicts that McCarthy will end up as the third-string quarterback at the start of the season.

On the July 9 episode of KFAN’s #92Noon! Allen stated, “I would make it prohibitively favored in that it would be Sam Darnold starting, Nick Mullens as the backup, and then J.J. McCarthy as the third QB… But this is an opportunity for McCarthy.”

While many would anticipate the ninth overall pick to start or at least be the backup, it could make sense for McCarthy to start out as the third-string signal-caller.

McCarthy is a long-term developmental quarterback, and having him sit could be the best decision for his future career.

Darnold has shown potential during his career and could make the most of another opportunity. Mullens has showcased that he can be a solid backup quarterback.

Having McCarthy as the third-stringer can take the pressure off of him, as he wouldn’t have to come in, even if there is an injury to Darnold.

In the 2023 season, head coach Kevin O’Connell was forced to start Hall as a rookie after injuries to Cousins and Mullens.

This is something that O’Connell wanted to avoid and could aim to do that this season.

While McCarthy may be the Vikings’ long-term answer at quarterback, starting as a third-string quarterback could make a lot of sense.

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