Draft Insider: Expect Connection Between Vikings, JJ McCarthy to Intensify

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow marks the 1st day of April. NFL Draft month. We will officially have just 25 more days to wait until we find out who the next Minnesota Vikings franchise quarterback will be. And as we draw closer and closer to that day… one very plugged in draft insider says we can expect their connection with Michigan’s JJ McCarthy to “intensify”.

Matt Miller expects JJ McCarthy + Minnesota Vikings steam to heat up

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Credit: Melanie Maxwell / USA TODAY NETWORK

Matt Miller (ESPN) is one of the most respected draft analysts and insiders in the game and this recent report (which was dropped into the middle of a 10,000-word article on offseason grades) doesn’t mince words. Also, it’s worth noting that the Vikings are believed to have spent time with McCarthy last week in Ann Arbor.

What this means for the 2024 draft: At pick No. 11, it’s unlikely one of the top four quarterbacks in the class will fall to Minnesota. But general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah should be aggressive in trying to move up the board for a passer. Expect the connections between Minnesota and Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy to intensify as we get closer to the draft.

Matt Miller – ESPN

The Vikings have been linked to McCarthy a lot already, but recently, steam had picked up connecting them to Drake Maye (UNC) and Jayden Daniels (LSU), now that the Washington Commanders (No. 2) and New England Patriots (No. 3) appear to be more willing trade partners.

About a week ago, Miller reported that the Vikings will be aggressive in pursuit of a quarterback. Now, he clearly believes that QB is JJ McCarthy. Also worth noting: four days ago, Miller released a new mock draft at ESPN that had the Minnesota Vikings trading all the way up to No. 3, where they draft Drake Maye. McCarthy goes No. 4 to Denver.

Apparently, something has changed Matt’s mind since releasing his most recent mock. You can see him start to pivot here, too, in this recent interview with Rich Eisen (NFL Network), from Friday.

Eisen: Why do you think the Vikings would trade all the way up for Drake May, third overall, what do you think is at play there, Matt?

Miller: “Yeah, I think the Vikings are trading up. Getting 11 and 23, you know, the move to come back in with the Houston Texans, five weeks before the draft, would be very questionable if you weren’t going to pair that to get into the top three” … “We know [the Vikings] are going to climb the ladder to get that quarterback. Who that quarterback is [is what’s interesting].”

“I think for Minnesota, with Christian Darrisaw at left tackle, Justin Jefferson – probably the best receiver in football, Jordan Addison – who had a great rookie year last year; that’s a really good framework for a young quarterback to come into and have a lot of early success whether you’re Maye or McCarthy, that’s where you want to go. You want to be with with Kevin O’Connell and the Minnesota Vikings”

Rich Eisen – NFL Network

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