Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy Decides To Throw at NFL Combine, Won’t Run 40-Yard Dash

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy decided to skip the 40-yard dash but still throw at the NFL Combine. How does this affect his draft status?

With quarterbacks just a day away from their NFL Combine workouts on Saturday, Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy has decided to not participate in certain drills.

ESPN’s Jeff Legwold reported that McCarthy said he would not run in the 40-yard dash due to “hamstring tightness” but would be throwing at the Combine.

Impact of J.J. McCarthy Not Running at the NFL Combine

McCarthy has been the subject of debate as to whether he is a first-round pick or a Day 2 selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. His old football coach and current Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh has stated publicly that he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the draft.

Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings credited McCarthy’s athleticism as a strength stating that he is a “superb athlete and creator with high-level speed, agility, and evasive explosiveness.”

Running the 40-yard dash would have helped McCarthy’s case in showing scouts that his speed is an asset in a football world that leans in favor of mobile, athletic quarterbacks. He will most likely have to wait to show off his speed at Michigan’s Pro Day.

The good news, however, is that McCarthy will have a chance to show off his arm at the Combine during the passing drills. The velocity and touch on his deep passes will be on display, showcasing some of his best traits. When McCarthy identifies the open man, he can consistently put the ball in the right spot.

It’s not necessarily uncommon to see quarterbacks sit out of the 40-yard dash for multiple reasons. One recent quarterback to do so was NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, who skipped the run to focus more on passing — some scouts wanted to see him as a wide receiver.

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While this shouldn’t negatively affect his draft stock, expect McCarthy to eventually run a 40-yard dash before the draft to check the box on one of his biggest strengths.

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