NFL Analyst Doesn’t Hold Back On J.J. McCarthy’s Fit With Vikings

JJ McCarthy, Minnesota Vikings
NFL Analysis Network

The Minnesota Vikings selected University of Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick of the NFL Draft late last month, and many are already projecting him to be an Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite heading into 2024.

It’s not that everyone feels that McCarthy is the most talented quarterback in this draft class. Far from it. But the general consensus is that he may be stepping into one of the best situations.

ESPN’s Matt Bowen, for example, absolutely loves McCarthy’s fit with the Vikings.

“As a passer, McCarthy can target all three levels of the field — short, medium and deep — and he can create outside of structure when necessary. But it’s the core passing/play-action concepts in [Kevin] O’Connell’s offense that really make this fit work,” Bowen wrote (h/t The Purple Persuasion). “And if McCarthy wins the No. 1 job over Sam Darnold in camp, he will be throwing the ball to a talented group of pass-catchers, led by top-tier WR Justin Jefferson.”

Not only does McCarthy have Jefferson, but he also has fellow wide receiver Jordan Addison and tight end T.J. Hockenson at his disposal in Minnesota.

The Vikings are certainly not short on weapons in their aerial attack, and only Chicago Bears incoming rookie signal-caller Caleb Williams can rival McCarthy in terms of his surrounding pieces.

Of course, even with all of those weapons, McCarthy will still have to prove himself, and he will still have to make the throws.

Minnesota signed Darnold in free agency, and Darnold will probably provide some competition in camp. You have to think that the Vikings fully intend on giving McCarthy the job, particularly considering the help he already has offensively. However, if McCarthy doesn’t look quite right in camp or preseason, Minnesota may ultimately play it safe and roll with Darnold. At least early on.

McCarthy is coming off of a 2023 campaign in which he led Michigan to a national championship with throwing for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 72.3 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 202 yards and three scores.

While many have lauded McCarthy for his intangibles, others have expressed concern over his physical limitations and questionable mechanics as he prepares to enter the professional ranks.

We’ll see if J.J. McCarthy can take advantage of what seems to be a rather cushy situation in Minnesota heading into his rookie season.

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