J.J. McCarthy 2024 NFL Draft Profile: Everything you need to know about Giants' potential target

With the Giants currently holding the sixth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, let's take a look at one prospect who may be a target: Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

By The Numbers

- Height: 6-foot-2½

- Weight: 219 pounds

- 40-Yard Dash: DNP

- Short Shuttle: 4.23

- Three-Cone Drill: 6.82

- 2023 Stats (15 games started): 2,991 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, four interceptions, 72 percent completion percentage plus 124 rushing yards and two touchdowns

Prospect Overview

Bleacher Report: McCarthy fits best in a Shanahan-style system that simplifies things pre-snap and leans into throws over the middle of the field with the help of play action. He has the requisite arm talent and pocket toughness to function in that system. Even still, McCarthy will take time to develop his ability to progress from the pocket and, hopefully, add weight and strength. Enigmatic quarterback lacking the measurables and splash throws associated with early round quarterbacks but possessing elements that require more study and consideration. McCarthy lacks frame thickness and a plus arm. He’s fairly poised in the pocket but is average as a pocket passer. His ball placement and timing need to improve to help mitigate an average operation time due to a windup release. McCarthy doesn’t seek to play out of structure but is fairly consistent at making positive plays when it happens and ramps up his focus late in games and on third downs. He is confident and seems to have the ability to take slights and digest it as competitive fuel. McCarthy should continue to improve as a passer, but he fails to stand out in many of the areas that tend to be predictive of top-level success in the NFL.

Why McCarthy makes sense for the Giants

With the sixth overall pick in a draft where there are a handful of prospects regarded as potential franchise quarterbacks, it is obviously going to be tempting for the Giants to consider selecting one – even if they have to move up a few spots to do so. However, just over 12 months ago, they had signed Daniel Jones to a four-year contract extension to be that guy.

The 2023 season didn’t go to plan for Jones and the Giants. The team struggled early on in the season, and they were 2-7 when Jones went on injured reserve with a torn ACL. While Jones has said that his rehab is going well, it will obviously disrupt his preparation for the upcoming season and could potentially put his readiness for the season opener in jeopardy. While it may be too soon to give up on Jones completely, drafting another potential franchise quarterback would enable the Giants to hedge their bets and give them options heading into 2025.

If the Giants select McCarthy, he will inevitably be compared to Jones and there are arguably more similarities than differences between the two. Both are athletic and have outstanding intangibles, rather than just being a work-in-progress with raw tools and arm talent as you’ll often see from a young prospect. This could be a positive if the two end up in a competition, either this year or next year, as McCarthy should fit seamlessly into Jones’ role if he can beat him out.

One thing Jones has that McCarthy doesn’t is that he’s been a productive runner during his college career, and in the NFL so far. However, McCarthy has been mentored by Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, so he should have learned everything he needs to know to be successful in a pro-style offense. He’s also a winner, coming off a national championship performance that saw him put up modest stats as the Wolverines beat the Washington Huskies to cap off a perfect 15-0 season.

NFL Comparison

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