April 24, 2024

Devy Digest: JJ McCarthy

5 min read


Michigan Wolverines

Position: Quarterback
J.J. McCarthy
6’3” 202lbs
Age: 20
Draft Eligible: 2024
Devy Digest QB Rank: 5

Devy Digest: JJ McCarthy

Andy Pham

Who is J.J. McCarthy?

McCarthy was a high 4* in the composites and attended Nazareth Academy for the first 3 years and for his final season, transferred to historic IMG Academy. McCarthy reached the State title game/Championship in each of his 4 years, winning two titles, one at each Academy and finished his career with a 36-2 record and accumulated over 7,900 passing yards with 94 touchdowns. Growing up McCarthy was an Ohio State fan and when Ohio State did not offer McCarthy, McCarthy committed to the University of Michigan as a Junior in High School and never wavered in his commitment to the Wolverines. During an interview after he committed, he was quoted as saying “I want to kill them” McCarthy is an athlete that uses being slighted as fuel and a chip on his shoulder and is someone that wants to prove people wrong. McCarthy brings with him that Mavericking style of play and as a True Freshman, people forget that he was used exclusively as a read option Quarterback and made plays with his feet due to his athleticism. He was a spark plug for them offensively and in that offseason, made strides to compete for the starting Quarterback position and ultimately won it and as his first season as the starter, led the Wolverines to the College Football playoffs and showed glimpse of why he was such a highly coveted recruit. This season, he has made a strong case to be the Quarterback 3 of the 2024 draft class and has been our QB3 for the 2024 draft class since the new year.

Advance Metrics courtesy of Campus 2 Canton

McCarthy is playing out of his mind and the analytics don't lie. If you aren't a fan of this young man as a prospect, you haven't watched the tape and haven't looked at the analytics.

Rest of Season Outlook

McCarthy has been consistent in his play aside from one game this year. McCarthy just needs to keep doing what he’s doing. Everything you watch in his tape this year, screams an NFL starting Quarterback. The anticipatory throws are there, processing of the defense is there, off platform plays are made and he has the arm and accuracy that will play in the NFL. With that chip on his shoulders, he will want to make amends and get the Wolverines to the National Championship game.


McCarthy is athletic and he’s always used his feet, as a True Freshman, he used it to run and make plays as a runner, as a Sophomore, he used it to give himself and his receivers additional time and would scramble out of the pocket to make off script throws, this year, he’s using his feet to run and to by himself additional time. This being his second year as a full time starter, McCarthy is processing defenses at a much faster rate and making the anticipatory throws that we did not see last year. McCarthy has a strong arm and uses it to his advantage, he can make the off platform throws as he’ll bide time to scramble out, use his strong arm to throw his receivers open and has been much poise overall as a passer and is showing the complete package and has developed his game in every year, which is something you want to see for a Quarterback to be projected at the next level. McCarthy has full command of the offense and the game has really slowed down for him and you can see him be an assassin this year and pinpoint the weakness in the defense and audible into a positive situation to exploit that. Coach Harbaugh has been on record comparing McCarthy to Andrew Luck in many aspects of their game and when you watch the throws that McCarthy makes and the little nuances that he makes to get his playmakers in positive opportunities you can see why the comparisons are made. Harbaugh has had a slew of Quarterbacks, and he’s never hyped any of his Quarterbacks, this isn’t just coach speak. Harbaugh believes in the young man and he is playing with extreme confidence and while his stats won’t blow you away(you can tell who the box score scouters are based on their evaluation of McCarthy) but when you watch his throws, they are quality NFL throws that you see made each Sunday. You can’t always say that about Drake Maye or Quinn Ewers. At the time of this writing, McCarthy leads all of College Football in QBR and that doesn’t get enough recognition.


McCarthy has that Mavericking style of play that might be off putting to some at the next level, at times he has too much belief in his arm and himself and will make unnecessary throws deep when a simple check down or a scramble would be the right play. McCarthy wasn’t named a team captain and some will point that to one of many reasons to not like McCarthy as the QB3 of this draft class, and while I;m not in the locker room or know the inner workings of the program, the Coach loves him, his teammates love him and you always see him on the sidelines being a cheerleader for his team, he is engaged in the game, he doesn’t just sit on the bench and wait for him turn to get back out there, he loves to University of Michigan and while he doesn’t have the block “C” on his jersey, he wears the block “M” on his sleeve and that passion is evident.

Devy Value

This is such a polarizing draft class, and if you have conviction in McCarthy being the QB3 and being an effective starter at the next level, the buy opportunity is there. On the flip side, if you have McCarthy, you might have a couple of managers in your league that really like him and can get value for him if you are in the belief that you need to see more from McCarthy. Either way, this is the time to buy and to sell.

NFL Outlook

McCarthy is our QB3 of the 2024 draft class and a Top-15 pick overall. McCarthy as an athlete will test well at the combine and at his pro day, he will make the wow throws that will be talked about. They’ll be more GM’s and coaches that will love his intangibles than ones that don’t.

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