Former Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh, who was Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy’s head coach, said in an interview that McCarthy will be the first quarterback taken off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Jim Harbaugh won a national championship in his last year as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines with J.J. McCarthy as the signal caller. Harbaugh is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, and quarterback Justin Herbert will be his signal caller for the foreseeable future.
Harbaugh is known for giving constant praise to his players in the media, but this statement is especially bold when considering the high-level quarterback talent present in this year’s draft.
McCarthy skipped his senior season to enter the NFL draft, and he said why in an article from the Associated Press.
“The decision was not easy and how could it be — I love my teammates, I love my coaches and I love it here in Ann Arbor,” he wrote on his social media accounts.
The amount of high-level quarterbacks makes Jim Harbaugh’s statement about J.J. McCarthy especially brazen
As it stands right now, Jim Harbaugh’s former QB J.J. McCarthy is expected to be the fourth QB taken off the board, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper.
In this scenario, McCarthy would be taken after USC Trojans star quarterback Caleb Williams, North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye and LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels. Williams has been pegged as a No. 1 overall draft pick for the last two years.
— Midway Monsta (@MMonstaz) January 31, 2024
Watching Drake Maye it’s not hard to see why he’s so highly regarded. Here in 6 plays in a ROW he shows everything you could want from a QB:
Deep ball accuracy, creativity, arm talent, touch, mobility & moxy.
If he lands on the right team he could be a stud. pic.twitter.com/Smgrk2KCf5
— B (@BShulkes) January 31, 2024
— ⚜ WHO DAT Cool Breesy ⚜ (@Steve2duhO) January 29, 2024
Maye has been right behind Williams in being considered one of the most NFL-ready QBs in the class. Daniels made a late run at being a top-tier draft pick with his 2023 Heisman Campaign.
Other mock drafts, such as Pro Football Focus‘ (PFF) mock draft, have even more QBs going ahead of McCarthy. Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who impressed in the College Football Playoff semifinal against the Texas Longhorns, is anticipated to go ahead of J.J. McCarthy by PFF.
Michael Penix vs. Texas was a laser light show. Unloading javelin after javelin downfield, while showing off fantastic poise and pocket-manipulation. ELITE performance. pic.twitter.com/3wKuDymYmQ
— Frankie Abbott (@FrankiesFilm) January 4, 2024
“Bo Nix can’t throw deep”
— Hazy (@its__Hazy) January 26, 2024
Jim Harbaugh didn’t have to rely on J.J. McCarthy to win the national championship with the Michigan Wolverines
During Jim Harbaugh and J.J. McCarthy’s path to the national championship in 2023, McCarthy was not the main focus of the Michigan offense. McCarthy’s lack of usage makes him an incredibly difficult QB to evaluate.
Michigan won the game in the trenches, and their ability to run the ball is what won them games. When the Michigan Wolverines beat the Penn State Nittany Lions, who boasted one of the nation’s best defenses, McCarthy only had to attempt eight passes to achieve the victory.
McCarthy only threw for more than 300 yards once in the entire season. He needed efforts of 148 yards passing and 140 yards passing to beat the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Washington Huskies, respectively. McCarthy only completed 10 passes in the national championship game against the Huskies, and he threw the ball 18 times.
Against the four best teams he played this season, McCarthy averaged just 142 yards per game. He was surrounded by 10 future NFL players that were put together by Jim Harbaugh. He had an offensive line that was up for the Joe Moore Award, which is given to the best collective offensive line in the nation. He also had a center that was a nominee for this year’s Rimington Award in Olu Oluwatimi.
Harbaugh said in the interview with media personality Colin Cowherd that when teams get up close and personal with McCarthy, their opinions of him will change for the better.
Jim Harbaugh on Michigan QB JJ McCarthy: “Don’t be surprised if/when he’s the number one QB off the board. That’s my prediction right now.”
Bold statement by the new #Chargers head coach.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) February 2, 2024