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Will J.J. McCarthy Be a Top-Five NFL Draft Pick? First-Round Odds for the Michigan QB

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published April 23, 2024
11 min read

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy was called the best quarterback in the draft by his former coach, Jim Harbaugh—but where will he find his new home in the 2024 NFL Draft?

McCarthy, despite coming off an undefeated season that culminated in a national championship, has been criticized for his lack of involvement in Michigan’s offense. However, many scouts and teams are reportedly high on the former Wolverine and believe he has more ability than he was able to show in college.

As a result, McCarthy’s landing spot is one of the biggest unknowns in the upcoming draft. Could he be the second pick in the draft? Could he fall to the end of the first round? Both are very much in play. 

J.J. McCarthy 2024 NFL Draft Odds

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook. Click the odds in the table below to place your bets at Draftkings and instantly claim $200 in bonus bets.

Draft PositionOdds
First pick+6000
Second pick+1000
Third pick+350
Fourth pick+180
Fifth pick+250
Sixth pick+500
Seventh pick+1200
Eighth pick+1800
Ninth pick+2200
Tenth pick+2800
JJ McCarthy NFL Draft Odds 2024

Where Will J.J. McCarthy Be Picked?

There are two separate camps on McCarthy.

One side believes that he was a cog in a Michigan system that focused on offensive line play, controlling the clock with the run, and outstanding defense. McCarthy threw the ball far fewer times than the other projected first-round picks and put up noticeably worse (but still solid) numbers.

The other side takes the position that he didn’t air the ball out simply because he didn’t have to on such a talented team. They also believe that he has the arm talent, mobility, and mentality to outperform what he put on tape and in the box score during his time in the NCAA.

There’s no clear-cut landing spot for McCarthy in the draft as he isn’t favored of being picked in any slot. The highest he’s ranked is second in the odds for the fourth pick, followed by third for the second, third, and fifth picks. His shortest odds are to be taken fourth at +180.

The problem with the fourth pick is that it is held by the Arizona Cardinals, who already have their franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray and would put themselves in salary cap purgatory if they benched the incumbent QB. Teams have reportedly flaunted interest in trading up to steal McCarthy, though the Cardinals would be well within their rights to stand pat and take a transformative player (such as the -225 favorite, Marvin Harrison Jr.).

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Will J.J. McCarthy Be Drafted in the Top Three?

McCarthy’s odds to be taken second or third shortened significantly about a week and a half out from the draft. He fell from +2000 to +1000 to be the second name called after Jayden Daniels’ agent publicly expressed frustration with the Washington Commanders’ evaluation process. Daniels remains the favorite to be drafted second at -330.

Another domino that is still teetering is Drake Maye, who many believed would be the second pick earlier in the offseason. Maye is +275 to be taken second and the favorite to be drafted third at -240, and he’ll likely be the main block for McCarthy to sneak into the top three. 

If McCarthy does not go first, second, or third, then a team will need to trade into the 5-10 range to grab him or risk him falling to a team that needs a quarterback, such as the Minnesota Vikings at 11 or the Denver Broncos at 12.

Will J.J. McCarthy Slide to the Second Round?

Crazier things have happened before. Last year, Kentucky QB Will Levis surged in odds to be taken first overall after an anonymous Reddit post said that Levis told his family he had been told he was going to the Carolina Panthers with the first pick.

Instead of being the first name off the board, Levis fell all the way to the second round. It’s unlikely that will happen to one of the top prospects in what is considered a deep quarterback draft, but McCarthy seems to be the player with the widest array of possible landing spots.

There are no odds available on whether the UM product will fall out of the first round. His longest odds (aside from being the first-overall pick) are to be taken with the tenth pick at +2800, which implies that sportsbooks believe he’ll be snatched up sooner than later.

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Which Team Will Draft J.J. McCarthy in the 2024 NFL Draft?

The Chicago Bears are practically guaranteed to take Caleb Williams with the first pick. The Commanders and New England Patriots both desperately need QBs and are expected to make those selections at the second and third draft spots.

No team from 4-10 needs a quarterback, though the New York Giants at 6 and the New York Jets at 10 could be interested in drafting their apartments to Daniel Jones and Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings likely don’t want Sam Darnold as their day-one starter, while the Broncos can’t feel comfortable with a quarterback room of Jarrett Stidham, Zach Wilson, and Ben DiNucci.

The Las Vegas Raiders at 13 are the last team that could also use a QB until the Vikings make their second pick of the first round at 23.

Which Quarterbacks Will Be Taken in the First Round of the 2024 NFL Draft?

Williams has a 99.5 percent chance of being taken first by the Bears according to implied probability (-20000 odds). 

Daniels and Maye are favored to go second and third, while McCarthy is somewhere in that mix.

Oregon QB and five-year college player Bo Nix threw for 45 touchdowns and only three interceptions last year and is also expected to find a home within the first 32 picks, as is national runner-up and Washington product Michael Penix Jr.

Several other QBs such as Spencer Rattler, Joe Milton, and Jordan Travis, among others, are also expected to draw interest. However, it’s expected that they’ll have to wait until the second or third day of the draft before they are selected.

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How to Watch the 2024 NFL Draft

  • When: April 25 @ 8:00 p.m. ET (day one), April 26 @ 7:00 p.m. ET (day two), April 27 @ 12:00 p.m. ET (day three)

  • Where: Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza, Detroit, MI

  • TV: ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and NFL Network


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Grant Mitchell

538 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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