Could Michgan football QB J.J. McCarthy go No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL draft?

The debate will rage on whether or not this could be the real deal or if it is just an annual smokescreen for this time of year.

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When Jim Harbaugh said that Michigan football quarterback J.J. McCarthy was worthy of being the number one pick in the draft, people laughed. Now analysts are beginning to speculate that it could realistically happen. It's only March and things will change between now and late April, but the speculation is slowly growing after the scouting combine.

His critics believe otherwise and will bash him for being nothing more then a game manager who is at best when he he is handing the ball off. They will bring up the Penn State win and him not throwing a single pass for the entire second half or the dicey three interception performance in the win over Bowling Green.

What they fail to respect him for or totally ignore is that he is the winningest quarterback in Michigan football history. That's more than Tom Brady, Jim Harbaugh, Chad Henne, or any other person who has lined up to take the snap in 144 years. There's a reason why Harbaugh called him the greatest quarterback to ever wear the maize and blue.

Just by watching him over the last three years, anyone can tell that McCarthy is as genuine as they come. His meditation time before the games has helped him with that on and off the field. Character issues is a non-factor for him. He did what was asked of him by Michigan football and more. He elevated the play of others around him.

He's accurate, can make plays with his legs, doesn't turn the ball over and will be on a rookie contract. What more could you ask for in an NFL quarterback? Being a Super bowl champion would be the most distinct answer, but McCarthy already has the college equivalent to that. Not to mention he's only 21 and didn't play the full four quarters for most of the 2023 season.

Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence were also national championship winning quarterbacks who went number one in their respective drafts. Here is a sample of his stats compared to the rest of the 2024 qb class below.

Others will still consider Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. better. The Bears will be the ultimate judge and jury, unless they trade the pick. Imagine trading Justin Fields to hand the keys of the franchise over to McCarthy. It would almost be like beating Ohio State for a fourth straight time.

If McCarthy wasn't a quarterback at such a prestigious university, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. The haters are entitled to their opinions and feel they are justified that he shouldn't even be a first round pick.

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In today's game someone out there is in love with him, but we just don't know who it is yet. Free agency and pro days will provide some answers until Thursday April 25th comes around. Whether you agree or not drafting J.J. McCarthy now is like drafting the number one overall pick in the 2025 draft, you're just grabbing him a year early then most would have.