Mel Kiper Jr. rates Michigan football's J.J. McCarthy as draft's No. 4 QB

The former Michigan football starting quarterback is going to be a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft according to experts like Mel Kiper Jr.

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy points down the field during the second half of the College
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy points down the field during the second half of the College / Melanie Maxwell / USA TODAY NETWORK
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J.J. McCarthy had an incredible career with Michigan football, posting a 27-1 record as a starting quarterback. Not only did he lead the Wolverines to a national championship but he was also part of three Big Ten championship teams and three wins over Ohio State.

McCarthy will forever be known as a Michigan football legend. As Jim Harbaugh said, he's the greatest Michigan quarterback (in college) of all time. That's not really up for debate.

Yet, one thing that's been up for debate has been J.J. McCarthy's NFL draft stock. It seems certain that he will be a first-round draft pick. However, there is still lots of talk about where he fits in the QB pecking order in the 2024 class, but here's what Mel Kiper Jr. said about the former Michgan football starter on the "First Draft" podcast with Field Yates.

“When you think about where we are right now with J.J.? I think he’s quarterback four,” said Kiper Jr. “I think he’s QB No. 4. He’s ahead of Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix.”

Kiper projected McCarthy to get selected by the Denver Broncos who have the No. 12 overall pick in April's draft. But I have a hard time seeing McCarthy sticking on the board that long. Every team in the top three of the NFL draft needs a quarterback, unless the Bears decide they are keeping Justin Fields.

It's possible one of those teams passes on a quarterback, but the Falcons, Jets, and Vikings all need quarterbacks too and even if say Minnesota re-signs Kirk Cousins, at some point, you have to invest in the future and as a 21-year old, McCarthy has a ton of upside.

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if McCarthy had returned to Michigan football he might be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2025 NFL draft, so I still think he winds up as a top-10 pick.