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Where Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Michigan football QB J.J. McCarthy in latest big board

J.J. McCarthy made a solid impression in the NFL scouting combine, but not enough to cause many draftniks to suddenly move him ahead of the other quarterbacks in the draft.

Unable to run due to a hamstring injury, McCarthy still wowed scouts with his arm talent in throwing drills, and it has made some — but not all — view him as a top 10 pick, perhaps even in the top five. While most still have him behind Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye, there is more buzz surrounding his ability than there was a month ago.

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has released his post-combine big board, and though it wasn’t a meteoric rise, McCarthy moved up, and he sees a wealth of potential for the former Michigan signal caller at the next level. (subscription required)

20. J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

6-2, 219 pounds | Previously: 23

McCarthy has first-round arm talent and can beat defenses with his legs too. He ranked third in the country in Total QBR(89.2) and completion percentage (72.3%) in 2023. Since he took over as the Wolverines’ starter in 2022, he threw 44 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. Five of those INTs have come in two games, however; he threw three against Bowling Green earlier in 2023, and he had two pick-sixes in the College Football Playoff semifinal loss to TCU in 2022. Outside of those two games, he has managed games effectively and made great decisions with the football.

I recently projected McCarthy in the middle of Round 1 in my debut mock draft. Sure, he averaged just 22.1 pass attempts per game in 2023 and only needed to complete 10 passes in the national title game, but his upside is immense.

Some at ESPN are higher on McCarthy than others. Louis Riddick shared that fans shouldn’t be surprised if he ends up getting picked much earlier than most envision. Of course, we’ll see, and McCarthy still has his pro day to wow scouts and general managers.

That’s perhaps the final time he can have a say in his draft stock, and while Kiper’s update is a net positive, don’t be surprised if he moves up a little more before his final release prior to the April draft.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire