Falcons: Signs continue to point to J.J. McCarthy going early in the first round

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 23 Rutgers at Michigan

With the 2023-2024 NFL season in the books, the focus shifts quickly to free agency and the draft. This is a pivotal offseason for the Falcons yet again, one where they’ll hopefully land their next franchise quarterback.

It’s been a sore spot in Atlanta ever since the end of Matt Ryan’s career, and the best place to fix it for the long-term is the draft. Sure, Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson, and Baker Mayfield are options worth exploring in free agency. But they’ll cost a lot more, and if the Falcons are being honest with themselves, winning a Super Bowl with one of them is a pipe dream. It’s like putting a band-aid on a broken leg.

Justin Fields is about the only quarterback on the market this offseason that could be the long-term answer for the Falcons that isn’t in the draft. I expect Raheem Morris and the Falcons brass to inquire, but the price tag, contract, and scheme fit could prevent them from pulling the trigger.

But regardless of what the Falcons do ahead of the draft, quarterback has to be on the table with the 8th pick, and a name fans need to keep an eye on is J.J. McCarthy. It’s not just one report anymore. Several names in the media are talking about McCarthy as a top 10 pick, and I expect that number to only increase as the draft approaches.

This is the time of year when everybody wants to act like an NFL draft analyst. Guys who have watched J.J. McCarthy throw the ball 50 times in their lives and checked the box scores will swear he’s Desmond Ridder 2.0.

But the NFL evaluators, they are not interested in the numbers on Pro Football Reference. Those can be skewed for various reasons. They take a look at everything, and the more they look at J.J. McCarthy, the more some teams are going to be willing to take a chance on him in the top half of the first round.

J.J. McCarthy is fresh off a National Championship at Michigan, where he was integral to their success. The Wolverines offense didn’t allow for him to put up gaudy numbers, because they didn’t need him to be a hero very often. However, in pivotal moments, McCarthy made pro-level throws in high-pressure situations. He’s got good arm strength, is accurate at all three levels, and proved to be a gamer with a high IQ at the collegiate level.

Someone is going to take a shot on J.J. McCarthy in the first round, and it just might be the Falcons at #8.

Photographer: Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: