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As it turned out, the Minnesota Vikings didn't have to trade up into the top five to select its quarterback of the future. They moved up just one pick, swapping selections with the New York Jets to take former Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy at No. 10 overall. The Vikings traded the No. 11 overall pick, a fourth-round pick and a fifth-round pick to the Jets for No. 10 overall, and pick No. 203, per ESPN

McCarthy has been one of the more polarizing quarterback prospects throughout this draft cycle as his stock rose considerably. What's not debatable is the 21-year-old's knack for winning wherever he finds himself in the football world. The five-star recruit finished his collegiate career with a 27-1 record as the starter for the Wolverines, including a victory over Washington in the College Football Playoff National Championship back in January. His .964 winning percentage as the starter is the third-best by a quarterback in college football history.

While not asked to carry Michigan like some other quarterbacks in his class were faced with during their collegiate careers, McCarthy answered the bell whenever called upon. He completed 72.3% of his passes last season for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. He also rushed for 202 yards and 3 touchdowns. On top of winning a national title, McCarthy was the Offensive MVP of the Rose Bowl last year and was the Big Ten Quarterback of the Year.

Here's what the Vikings are getting in McCarthy, including his scouting report, pro comparison, career accolades, fantasy fit and overall NFL outlook.

NFL Draft grade: C+

"They had to fill the quarterback spot, so it makes sense to take McCarthy. I don't love him as much as others do, but it will be interesting to see how Kevin O'Connell and gang will make it work" -- Pete Prisco

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Fantasy football outlook


Dynasty spin


J.J. McCarthy NFL Draft prospect profile

  • Age as of Week 1: 21 years old
  • Height: 6-foot-2 1/2
  • Weight: 219 pounds
  • Hand size: 9 inches

Comparable body type: Jimmy Garoppolo

CBS Sports prospect ranking

Position: No. 4 QB | Overall: No. 20 | Rating: 91.43 (All-Pro)

NFL comparison: Rich Gannon 

Any comparison for McCarthy is difficult to make, but I see some of Rich Gannon in his game for his ability to maintain ball placement and velocity on the short and intermediate areas of the field, while struggling at times in the vertical areas of the field. He also has that improvisational ability and the ability to throw off platform from different arm slots and an unbalanced base. McCarthy is a better runner than Gannon was.

NFL combine results

  • 20-yard shuttle run: 4.23 seconds
  • 3-cone drill: 6.82 seconds

Scouting report

J.J. McCarthy is an incredibly efficient passer who operated in a predominantly run-heavy offense. He is slight of frame but has the mobility and accuracy to make plays out of structure. McCarthy does not have the strongest arm but throws with touch to all three levels. He is a tough player who has consistently won at every level of his career.


  • 2023: CFP national champion (led Michigan to 15-0 record)
  • 27-1 career record as starting QB (3rd-best in FBS history)


  • Sixth-highest completion percentage in 2023 (72.3%)
  • Does a good job manipulating the pocket
  • Throws with touch to all three levels
  • Great ball placement


  • Ball security in tight pockets
  • Late to see some breakers
  • Average arm strength

College stats breakdown


CBS Sports fantasy takes an in-depth look at J.J. McCarthy as a draft prospect.