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Could J.J. McCarthy be selected No. 2 overall in the NFL draft?

The biggest question surrounding the 2024 NFL draft is not really who goes No. 1 (that will almost certainly be USC quarterback Caleb Williams) or what teams will do what in general as much as it has to do with Michigan football QB J.J. McCarthy.

McCarthy has been something of a polarizing figure leading up to the NFL draft. As scouts get to know his game more, he’s leapt from being a day two pick into the first round and eventually into the top 10 of many mock drafts. But more and more, it’s appearing as if some teams are more eager to bring McCarthy into the fold than some of the other quarterbacks who had previously been slotted ahead of him on big boards.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero dropped something of a bombshell on Monday when he revealed that it’s not LSU QB Jayden Daniels or North Carolina’s Drake Maye who could be picked at No. 2 overall by the Washington Commanders. From conversations he’s had, the Commanders very well may select McCarthy with that second pick come late April.

“It’s really interesting because everybody’s always trying to figure out who’s at the top of the draft, what other teams are doing,” Pelissero said. “When I’ve had conversations here with executives from other teams who know Adam Peters well, who know the situation well, what’s a popular answer for what they do at No. 2 is J.J. McCarthy.

“So a lot of drama.”

Michigan football fans know what McCarthy’s capable of. He’s perhaps the first quarterback in Ann Arbor since Chad Henne who fans haven’t been clamoring to see rise from a backup position. He has arm talent, athleticism, makes good decisions, doesn’t turn the ball over, is a gamer, and most importantly, a winner, having won championships at both the high school level and in college.

Still, many pundits claim McCarthy isn’t as good as the others, mostly because his stats aren’t quite as gaudy, thanks to the system that he played in.

We’ll know for sure next month whether or not McCarthy goes that high in the draft or if he goes later. For now, it’s looking more and more safe that he’s, at worst, a top-five pick.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire