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J.J. McCarthy: NFL Draft profile, Fantasy Soccer & Dynasty outlook, full scouting report, extra

McCarthy is receiving a lot of buzz in the pre-draft process and here’s what that could mean for Fantasy managers Mar 29, 2024 at 11:43 am ET • 10 min read USATSI J.J. McCarthy is one of the most polarizing prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, and at least publicly, he’s seen his stock rise

J.J. McCarthy: NFL Draft profile, Fantasy Soccer & Dynasty outlook, full scouting report, extra

J.J. McCarthy: NFL Draft profile, Fantasy Football & Dynasty outlook, full scouting report, more

McCarthy is receiving numerous buzz within the pre-draft course of and here is what that would imply for Fantasy managers


J.J. McCarthy is without doubt one of the most polarizing prospects within the 2024 NFL Draft, and not less than publicly, he is seen his inventory rise immensely during the last two months. In fact, some will inform you McCarthy has been thought-about a doable top-10 draft decide general the whole time by NFL expertise evaluators who work for groups, however the media and followers are actually simply catching up. There are intangible traits that McCarthy possesses that may make him enticing to some basic managers and head coaches, together with his win-loss file and Nationwide Championship victory — which partially led his former coach Jim Harbaugh to call him the most effective quarterback in Michigan historical past and within the 2024 class. It is onerous to get fairly there with McCarthy after watching his tape, however there are actually traits to get enthusiastic about each of his NFL prospects and for what he can convey to the Fantasy Soccer panorama.

A 247Sports four-star composite prospect, McCarthy was one of many high quarterback prospects in his highschool class and he performed in a pro-style offense at the highschool stage earlier than taking part in in one other pro-style offense at Michigan — this may also be enticing for NFL GMs and coaches.

Age as of Week 1: 21 | Top: 6-foot-2 2/4 | Weight: 219 | Hand: 9

Comparable body-type to: Jimmy Garoppolo

We’re breaking down all the things it’s good to learn about McCarthy from a Fantasy supervisor perspective, together with most closely fits, Dynasty outlook, measurables, scouting report, key stats and an NFL comparability.

Dynasty outlook

McCarthy is such a younger prospect that he requires extra projection, however his age getting into the NFL — and his “breakout” age on the collegiate stage will definitely appeal to Dynasty managers. Taking part in in a pro-style offense each at Michigan and the highschool stage may give him a leg up on the NFL stage on the subject of when he is prepared to begin or play in an NFL recreation. McCarthy’s talent set tasks greatest for an offensive system from the Kyle Shanahan tree and his touchdown spot will play a task in how briskly he can transition to the NFL (plus his ceiling as a quarterback on his first contract). Our resident Dynasty skilled Heath Cummings ranks him as a first-round decide (again finish) and the eleventh general prospect. In our most up-to-date SuperFlex Dynasty rookie-only mock draft, McCarthy came off the board with the Tenth general decide.

Greatest real looking Fantasy suits

Minnesota Vikings

McCarthy can match into any pro-style offense however his greatest match can be in a West Coast system that comes from the Shanahan-McVay tree — he meets an ideal match with Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. This additionally represents a wonderful match for McCarthy as a result of O’Connell is without doubt one of the most pass-heavy play callers within the NFL, the Vikings have the most effective large receiver in soccer in Justin Jefferson, and so they even have T.J. Hockenson, Jordan Addison and an above-average offensive line. The Vikings would probably must commerce up within the draft to amass McCarthy.

New York Giants

Regardless of not touchdown in an offensive system from the McVay-Shanahan tree, connecting with the Giants is a stable comfort for McCarthy given the truth that he’d be working with Brian Daboll and former quarterback (and coach of Patrick Mahomes) Mike Kafka. Daboll did a wonderful job molding one of many rawest prospect in NFL historical past (Josh Allen) into an elite participant, obtained probably the most anybody may out of Daniel Jones in 2022 and even discovered some success with UDFA Tommy DeVito. McCarthy is a growing prospect on the youthful aspect and may benefit from Daboll’s tutelage. This could be extra of a long-term Fantasy match. 

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Scouting report


  • McCarthy has a concise and compact supply of the soccer with no lengthy wind up and little wasted motion.
  • McCarthy’s footwork and higher physique keep properly linked all through his cross makes an attempt.
  • McCarthy reveals superior traits from a improvement standpoint corresponding to how he operates the play-action passing recreation. McCarthy snaps his head round on play motion and will get his physique (and ft) squared and linked like a veteran on these play-action makes an attempt.
  • Not afraid to make tight-window throws that require velocity and timing — those I wish to consult with as “Sunday throws” as a result of they’re into home windows that are not solely out there on the collegiate stage.
  • Reveals glorious poise when making throws from the pocket underneath strain — not afraid to make a throw even when he is aware of the follow-through will lead to him getting hit by the defender.
  • McCarthy throws with higher ball placement when throwing to his proper — he additionally throws with extra velocity to his proper.
  • Shows the power to throw off platform whereas on the transfer, particularly to his proper (throwing shoulder). McCarthy would not must have a balanced base or squared shoulders to keep up ball placement and velocity when pressured out of construction.
  • McCarthy additionally shows the power to alter his arm slot with a wide range of throws from totally different arm angles.
  • Higher-than-advertised athlete within the 92nd percentile amongst all quarterbacks on the subject of 3-cone testing (6.82 seconds). This drill reveals off change of route and lateral agility — this stuff are evident on McCarthy’s tape when he is scrambling to throw or within the open discipline as a runner.
  • McCarthy does a wonderful job utilizing the center of the sector as a passer on account of his timing, velocity and ball placement away from protection. That is vital from a projection standpoint as a result of on the NFL-level the principles are totally different than school (the hash marks) and the outside-the-number throws and house aren’t at all times out there. It is vital for quarterbacks to be constant utilizing the center of the sector.
  • Powerful competitor who will take huge hits and get proper again up — McCarthy has a background as a hockey participant.
  • McCarthy has a powerful psychological clock in his head on the subject of strain and pockets collapsing. He struggles typically to establish A spot blitzes and free cross rushers on blitzes earlier than the snap, however that may include expertise. His pocket manipulation and presence are separate and superior for the place he is at in his improvement.
  • Notable enchancment from 2022 to 2023 — particularly in judging how he confronted the identical defenses — vs. Ohio State in 2022, vs. Ohio State in 2023. The distinction was a quarterback who improved in post-snap processing — not locking on to his first learn — and likewise he had extra options for strain.
  • Some examples of McCarthy altering protections on the line of scrimmage and checking from cross to run performs primarily based on what the protection is exhibiting — a wonderful development for a quarterback prospect as younger as McCarthy.
  • McCarthy additionally has an improvisational capability to how he performs the sport out of construction that may result in huge performs that alter video games.
  • Led a number of runs within the School Soccer Playoff together with profitable the 2023 Nationwide Championship — he mixed in two school playoff video games to throw for 361 passing yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and one other 56 yards speeding on seven carries.


  • McCarthy struggles to get the timing, contact and trajectory needed at occasions when throwing the vertical routes — particularly when throwing vertically to his left.
  • McCarthy typically struggles with distance on vertical throws in addition to throwing into house — typically this results in large receivers having to cease their routes to let the cross try catch as much as them.
  • Talking of throwing his left — McCarthy’s mechanics get out of whack. That is correctable with the correct teaching. Nate Tice did a wonderful job offering examples:
  • McCarthy struggles with ball placement when throwing out routes and towards the sideline, exterior the numbers when he’s throwing to his left. He additionally has misses on tape when throwing the out routes to his proper, however there are additionally counterexamples of field-side throws to his proper which are thrown with plus velocity and ball placement.

Stats breakdown

G Cmp% PaYds Yds/Att PaTD PaINT RuAtt RuYds RuAvg RuTD
2023 15 72.3% 2991 9.0 22 4 64 202 3.2 3
2022 14 64.6% 2719 8.4 22 5 70 306 4.4 5
Profession 40 67.6% 6226 8.7 49 11 302 1209 4.0 16

Superior stats to know

(Courtesy of superior stats extraordinaire Dave Richard — you’ll find his breakdowns of the opposite quarterbacks within the 2024 class here.)

  • When pressured over 113 dropbacks final 12 months, McCarthy tried 82 passes, accomplished 63.4% of them with a 12.2% off-target charge for 9.5 yards per try on an 11.4 ADOT. This led the “huge 5” in completion charge and was tied for the most effective off-target charge with a second-best yards per try behind Daniels. Greatest but, his ADOT was 0.1 behind Daniels and 0.7 yards behind Penix for the very best. Solely Bo Nix had a better completion charge when pressured — and his ADOT was simply 7.5 yards.
  • In his two seasons as a starter, McCarthy threw 13.8% of his targets to operating backs, 57.8% to large receivers and 24.9% to tight ends.
  • Among the many “huge 5” prospects on this 12 months’s draft (McCarthy, Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and Michael Penix), McCarthy was tops in completion charge (72.3%, 0.1% forward of Daniels) with the bottom off-target charge (9.3%, ninth-lowest amongst FBS qualifiers) and INT charge (1.2%, Tenth-lowest). He was third in TD charge (6.63%) and yards per try (9.0), second-to-last in ADOT (9.2 yards; Williams was lowest at 8.5) and makes an attempt of 15-plus Air Yards (26.2%), and he had the bottom charge of throws of 20-plus Air Yards (13.9%). Apparently sufficient, he was blitzed the second-most among the many group (29.3%, simply behind Maye’s 30.8%).
  • When pressured over 113 dropbacks final 12 months, McCarthy tried 82 passes, accomplished 63.4% of them with a 12.2% off-target charge for 9.5 yards per try on an 11.4 ADOT. This led the “huge 5” in completion charge and was tied for the most effective off-target charge with a second-best yards per try behind Daniels. Greatest but, McCarthy had a TD charge of 9.76% when pressured, which was behind Daniels by a smidge however nonetheless fourth-best within the FBS. His ADOT was 0.1 behind Daniels and 0.7 yards behind Penix for the very best. Solely Bo Nix had a better completion charge when pressured — and his ADOT was simply 7.5 yards.
  • When pressured and throwing brief (4 Air Yards or much less), McCarthy accomplished 60% of his passes, simply the most effective of the “huge 5” (all the others had been underneath 53%, and three had been underneath 40%).
  • What about when he wasn’t pressured and threw deep (15-plus Air Yards)? In that situation McCarthy accomplished 55.2% of these throws (second-best amongst huge 5 and eighth greatest in FBS).
  • McCarthy had 10 throws in 2022 and three in 2023 of 40-plus Air Yards. Of the 13 such makes an attempt, three touched 50 or extra Air Yards and one other 5 had been between 45 and 49. McCarthy accomplished 6 of 13 for 320 yards and three touchdowns with no picks.
  • What about fast throws? When getting the ball out in 2.5 seconds or much less, McCarthy accomplished 74.9% of his passes for 7.3 yards per try, a 5.9 ADOT, a 3.91% TD charge and a 1.12% INT charge. This wasn’t nearly as good as others within the “huge 5”; McCarthy was no higher than third in any class besides INT charge and was worst in TD charge.
  • What about when he had time? When he had greater than 2.5 seconds to throw, McCarthy accomplished 69.3% of his throws for 11.0 yards per try on a 13.0 ADOT with a 9.8% TD charge and a 1.31% INT charge. 
  • His off-target charge was 12.4%. McCarthy was third within the FBS (one spot behind Daniels) in completion charge, eighth in TD charge, ninth in yards per try and Thirteenth-best in off-target charge.
  • Within the purple zone, McCarthy accomplished 65% of his throws with an 27.5% TD charge and a low 10% off-target charge. Solely Williams was higher on completion charge and off-target charge, and Daniels higher on TD charge.- Had 216 yards on 36 makes an attempt on straightforward throws — fast outs, WR screens, backfield outs and shovel passes. McCarthy did not pad his stats with numerous weak throws.
  • Excluding sacks, McCarthy had 61 carries for 237 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and three touchdowns on the bottom. He prevented a deal with on 29.5% of these runs, second-highest among the many “huge 5”.
  • Over his school profession, McCarthy scored on 7 of 17 rush makes an attempt inside the ten, 6 of 8 rush makes an attempt contained in the 5, and a pair of of 4 rush makes an attempt on the one-yard line.

NFL Comparability

Any comparability for McCarthy is tough to make, however I see a few of Wealthy Gannon in his recreation for his capability to keep up ball placement and velocity on the brief and intermediate areas of the sector, whereas struggling at occasions within the vertical areas of the sector. He additionally has that improvisational capability and the power to throw off platform from totally different arm slots and an unbalanced base. McCarthy is a greater runner than Gannon was.

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