JJ McCarthy, Other Top QB Prospects Infatuated with Kevin O’Connell at NFL Combine

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Minnesota Vikings are sitting at pick no. 11 in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft and we do not yet know what they are going to do about Kirk Cousins’ pending free agency. What we do know, is they seem to like Michigan QB, JJ McCarthy, who’s currently being projected from picks 10-12.

McCarthy needs an NFL home and the Vikings appear determined to take a shot at their QB of the future. Perfect fit, right? Well, after talking to Minnesota head coach, Kevin O’Connell, it appears JJ certainly thinks so. McCarthy spoke at the combine podium after his interview with KOC and he couldn’t stop gushing over how the meeting unfolded.

“It went amazing. Coach O’Connell led the whole thing and just being able to see him in person, he was a lot taller than I thought, and Coach McCown. Everything about what they were talking about, everything about what they wanted out of a quarterback, is something that aligns with what I want. Just being able to get on the board with them, have them go through their plays, it was something really special and I enjoyed it.”

JJ McCarthy – Scouting Combine (video via @MichiganInsider)

Will the Minnesota Vikings draft JJ McCarthy?

McCarthy is expected to be the fourth quarterback selected in next month’s draft, behind Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (UNC) and Jayden Daniels (LSU), all of which also met with the Minnesota Vikings. But we still have nearly two months between now and April 25, so a lot has yet to shake out. McCarthy is throwing at the combine this week. The other three are not.

But the 21-year-old kid from Michigan wasn’t done with his love for KOC and the Vikings as a landing spot when he got off the podium. McCarthy sat with former Minnesota GM Rick Spielman and CBS Sports and picked Justin Jefferson as the first wide receiver that he would like to throw to in the NFL.

Many see JJ as the obvious riser over the next 1.5 months as we creep closer to day one. He’s behind the first pack of quarterbacks mostly due to his lack of high end production through the air. But there’s an explanation for that. Michigan runs a pro-style offense and Jim Harbaugh plays football like a classic Big Ten coach.

Related: Vikings Surprisingly Release Alexander Mattison

Run the ball until they stop you. So, the 2023 National Champions ran the ball a lot this season. Those who are optimistic on McCarthy believe the Wolverines pro-style offense will only help JJ’s development as a young NFL franchise QB.

McCarthy’s wasn’t the only QB at the combine who was infatuated with Kevin O’Connell, though. Both Jayden Daniels and Michael Penix Jr (Washington) took time out of their answer on their Vikings interview session to focus on the head coach. Clearly, KOC knows how to make a first impression.

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