Matt Miller of ESPN released his preseason mock draft predictions for the 2024 NFL draft. For the Minnesota Vikings at pick 21, symbolizing a playoff team, Miller selected Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy.
“The upcoming free agency of quarterback Kirk Cousins — who is turning 36 next summer — will force the Vikings into a hard decision early in the 2024 offseason,” Miller wrote. “McCarthy showcased excellent dual-threat ability in 2022, throwing for 22 touchdowns to five interceptions and adding five more scores on the ground. The 6-3, 202-pound passer is a play-action master and excels on rollouts and moving pockets. That’d fit with Minnesota coach Kevin O’Connell just fine, and McCarthy would benefit from Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison at wide receiver.”
With Kirk Cousins’ future with the team up in the air, the Vikings taking a potential long-term option at quarterback makes a lot of sense.
Last season, McCarthy threw for 2719 yards on 64.6% passing with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. His 9.1 adjusted yards per attempt ranked 20th in the country. His 306 yards that he added on the ground ranked first in the Big Ten.
McCarthy also led the Wolverines to a College Football Playoff bid and an undefeated regular season record. The Wolverines’ run in the playoffs was brief, however, as they fell to TCU in the opening round.