‘He’s Going To Be 14-16’ – Mel Kiper Ranks J.J. McCarthy Ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

J.J. McCarthy's stock has consistently been seen as a top-five overall pick in recent months. That's a mistake according to ESPN's lead NFL Draft expert.

The running theory of the past few months is that Michigan quarterback and national champion J.J. McCarthy will be a top-five pick once the 2024 NFL Draft begins.

His work with the Wolverines, coupled with his impressive athleticism, has led NFL teams to think highly of the young project. While McCarthy’s college numbers may not jump off the page like others in his class, he consistently won at a high level throughout his days in Ann Arbor, and it’s why teams are considering even trading up to take him.

However, ESPN’s top NFL Draft analyst may not agree with those same organizations.

ESPN Analyst Disagrees With J.J. McCarthy Draft Rise

Although McCarthy’s rise to the top of draft boards may be all the rage in NFL circles, ESPN’s Mel Kiper doesn’t necessarily agree with everything that is being brought forth on the young quarterback.

“Adam (Schefter) is the expert. He’ll tell you where these prospects are going to go, I just rank them,” Kiper said on ESPN’s Get Up Tuesday morning.

“I had a kid ranked 84th who went number one. J.J. McCarthy is going to be 14th or 16th, it’s as high as he’s been and as high as he can go. So yes, top five for me is too high, but will he go top five? More than likely.”

As a prospect, McCarthy was considered a tick below the talent level of the likes of North Carolina’s Drake Maye, and Heisman Trophy winners like Jayden Daniels and Caleb Williams.

Support grew for the Michigan standout following the university’s first national title win since 1997. In three seasons with the Wolverines, the Illinois native completed over 67% of his passes for over 6,000 yards and 49 touchdowns.

With Michigan, McCarthy lost just one game as a starting quarterback.

Kiper understands that McCarthy’s overall stock is still of a first-round pick, but the demand for quarterbacks now has made the 21-year-old the apple of many teams’ eyes.

NFL Films producer and analyst Greg Cosell agrees with Kiper’s assessment and is even less bullish on McCarthy, who he doesn’t believe is even a first-round talent.

“I don’t think the tape spoke to of being a first-round pick,” said Cosell on The Rich Eisen Show.

“You like to see things on tape that you feel you can extrapolate to the next level; you did not see a lot of that with J.J. McCarthy,” Cosell explains.

Cosell goes on to state that while this doesn’t rule out his ability to make NFL throws, he says he just didn’t see McCarthy show off good arm talent on tape.

Cosell later discusses McCarthy’s pro day showing, where the former Michigan QB displayed surprisingly impressive arm strength, which he wasn’t blown away by, however.

“You know every quarterback goes out on a pro day and throws the ball nicely. I mean, it’s shorts and a T-shirt,” Cosell says.

Ian Cummings’ Thoughts on J.J. McCarthy’s Draft Ranking

Kiper and Cosell aren’t the only NFL Draft experts who believe McCarthy could go higher than he should in Round 1. Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings, in fact, has McCarthy as a top-25 player in the draft as the “next tier down.”

“Far more than once, McCarthy reassured onlookers with his development in 2023, showing improved pocket poise, mechanical rhythm, decision-making, and active anticipation and field manipulation,” Cummings detailed in his profile of McCarthy.

KEEP READING: Former NFL Exec Wouldn’t Be Surprised If J.J. McCarthy Goes Top 3

While McCarthy may be one of the more raw talents in his current class, his work as a leader and winner makes him an intriguing prospect heading into the 2024 NFL Draft.

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s all-new Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls — lone wolf or with your friends!

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