The Minnesota Vikings selected quarterback J.J. McCarthy with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft after trading up from No. 11 with the New York Jets. Here's what you need to know about his Fantasy stock in both season-long and Dynasty formats.

McCarthy's fit with the Vikings

McCarthy can fit into any pro-style offense but his best fit will be in a West Coast system that comes from the Shanahan-McVay tree -- he meets a perfect match with Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell. This also represents an excellent fit for McCarthy because O'Connell is one of the most pass-heavy play callers in the NFL, the Vikings have the best wide receiver in football in Justin Jefferson, and they also have T.J. Hockenson, Jordan Addison and an above-average offensive line. The Vikings ultimately only had to trade up one spot to grab their guy. From a redraft standpoint, McCarthy will have an opportunity to beat Sam Darnold out in training camp but could ultimately end up as QB2 for parts or all of the 2024 season. If he earns the starting job, McCarthy will be a target for 2QB and SuperFlex leagues as a QB3.

Dynasty Outlook

McCarthy is such a young prospect that he requires more projection, but his age entering the NFL -- and his "breakout" age at the collegiate level will certainly attract Dynasty managers. Playing in a pro-style offense both at Michigan and the high school level could give him a leg up at the NFL level when it comes to when he's ready to start or play in an NFL game. McCarthy's skill set projects best for an offensive system from the Kyle Shanahan tree and his landing spot will play a role in how fast he can transition to the NFL (plus his ceiling as a quarterback on his first contract) so it's perfect that he found one with Kevin O'Connell and the Vikings. Our resident Dynasty expert Heath Cummings ranks him as the 17th-best prospect overall in 1QB formats prior to his fit with the Vikings -- that rank could rise post draft. In our pre-draft SuperFlex Dynasty rookie-only mock draft, McCarthy came off the board with the 9th overall pick.

J.J. McCarthy: What to know

J.J. McCarthy is one of the most polarizing prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, and at least publicly, he's seen his stock rise immensely over the last two months. Of course, some will tell you McCarthy has been considered a possible top-10 draft pick overall the entire time by NFL talent evaluators who work for teams, but the media and fans are now just catching up. There are intangible traits that McCarthy possesses that will make him attractive to some general managers and head coaches, including his win-loss record and National Championship victory -- which in part led his former coach Jim Harbaugh to name him the best quarterback in Michigan history and in the 2024 class. It's hard to get quite there with McCarthy after watching his tape, but there are certainly traits to get excited about both of his NFL prospects and for what he can bring to the Fantasy Football landscape.

A 247Sports four-star composite prospect, McCarthy was one of the top quarterback prospects in his high school class and he played in a pro-style offense at the high school level before playing in another pro-style offense at Michigan -- this will also be attractive for NFL GMs and coaches.

Age as of Week 1: 21 | Height: 6-foot-2 2/4 | Weight: 219 | Hand: 9

Comparable body-type to: Jimmy Garoppolo

We're breaking down everything you need to know about McCarthy from a Fantasy manager perspective, including a scouting report, key stats and an NFL comparison.

Scouting report


  • McCarthy has a concise and compact delivery of the football with no long wind up and little wasted movement.
  • McCarthy's footwork and upper body stay well connected throughout his pass attempts.
  • McCarthy shows advanced traits from a development standpoint such as how he operates the play-action passing game. McCarthy snaps his head around on play action and gets his body (and feet) squared and connected like a veteran on these play-action attempts.
  • Not afraid to make tight-window throws that require velocity and timing -- the ones I like to refer to as "Sunday throws" because they are into windows that aren't only available at the collegiate level.
  • Shows excellent poise when making throws from the pocket under pressure -- not afraid to make a throw even when he knows the follow-through will result in him getting hit by the defender.
  • McCarthy throws with better ball placement when throwing to his right -- he also throws with more velocity to his right.
  • Displays the ability to throw off platform while on the move, specifically to his right (throwing shoulder). McCarthy doesn't need to have a balanced base or squared shoulders to maintain ball placement and velocity when forced out of structure.
  • McCarthy also displays the ability to change his arm slot with a variety of throws from different arm angles.
  • Better-than-advertised athlete in the 92nd percentile among all quarterbacks when it comes to 3-cone testing (6.82 seconds). This drill shows off change of direction and lateral agility -- these things are evident on McCarthy's tape when he's scrambling to throw or in the open field as a runner.
  • McCarthy does an excellent job using the middle of the field as a passer due to his timing, velocity and ball placement away from coverage. This is important from a projection standpoint because at the NFL-level the rules are different than college (the hash marks) and the outside-the-number throws and space aren't always available. It's important for quarterbacks to be consistent using the middle of the field.
  • Tough competitor who will take big hits and get right back up -- McCarthy has a background as a hockey player.
  • McCarthy has a strong mental clock in his head when it comes to pressure and pockets collapsing. He struggles sometimes to identify A gap blitzes and free pass rushers on blitzes before the snap, but that will come with experience. His pocket manipulation and presence are separate and advanced for where he's at in his development.
  • Notable improvement from 2022 to 2023 -- specifically in judging how he faced the same defenses -- vs. Ohio State in 2022, vs. Ohio State in 2023. The difference was a quarterback who improved in post-snap processing -- not locking on to his first read -- and also he had more solutions for pressure.
  • Some examples of McCarthy changing protections at the line of scrimmage and checking from pass to run plays based on what the defense is showing -- an excellent advancement for a quarterback prospect as young as McCarthy.
  • McCarthy also has an improvisational ability to how he plays the game out of structure that can lead to big plays that alter games.
  • Led multiple runs in the College Football Playoff including winning the 2023 National Championship -- he combined in two college playoff games to throw for 361 passing yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and another 56 yards rushing on seven carries.


  • McCarthy struggles to get the timing, touch and trajectory necessary at times when throwing the vertical routes -- specifically when throwing vertically to his left.
  • McCarthy sometimes struggles with distance on vertical throws as well as throwing into space -- sometimes this leads to wide receivers having to stop their routes to let the pass attempt catch up to them.
  • Speaking of throwing his left -- McCarthy's mechanics get out of whack. This is correctable with the right coaching. Nate Tice did an excellent job providing examples:
  • McCarthy struggles with ball placement when throwing out routes and toward the sideline, outside the numbers when he is throwing to his left. He also has misses on tape when throwing the out routes to his right, but there are also counterexamples of field-side throws to his right that are thrown with plus velocity and ball placement.

Stats breakdown


Advanced stats to know

(Courtesy of advanced stats extraordinaire Dave Richard -- you can find his breakdowns of the other quarterbacks in the 2024 class here.)

  • When pressured over 113 dropbacks last year, McCarthy attempted 82 passes, completed 63.4% of them with a 12.2% off-target rate for 9.5 yards per attempt on an 11.4 ADOT. This led the "big five" in completion rate and was tied for the best off-target rate with a second-best yards per attempt behind Daniels. Best yet, his ADOT was 0.1 behind Daniels and 0.7 yards behind Penix for the highest. Only Bo Nix had a higher completion rate when pressured -- and his ADOT was just 7.5 yards.
  • In his two seasons as a starter, McCarthy threw 13.8% of his targets to running backs, 57.8% to wide receivers and 24.9% to tight ends.
  • Among the "big five" prospects in this year's draft (McCarthy, Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and Michael Penix), McCarthy was tops in completion rate (72.3%, 0.1% ahead of Daniels) with the lowest off-target rate (9.3%, ninth-lowest among FBS qualifiers) and INT rate (1.2%, 10th-lowest). He was third in TD rate (6.63%) and yards per attempt (9.0), second-to-last in ADOT (9.2 yards; Williams was lowest at 8.5) and attempts of 15-plus Air Yards (26.2%), and he had the lowest rate of throws of 20-plus Air Yards (13.9%). Interestingly enough, he was blitzed the second-most among the group (29.3%, just behind Maye's 30.8%).
  • When pressured over 113 dropbacks last year, McCarthy attempted 82 passes, completed 63.4% of them with a 12.2% off-target rate for 9.5 yards per attempt on an 11.4 ADOT. This led the "big five" in completion rate and was tied for the best off-target rate with a second-best yards per attempt behind Daniels. Best yet, McCarthy had a TD rate of 9.76% when pressured, which was behind Daniels by a smidge but still fourth-best in the FBS. His ADOT was 0.1 behind Daniels and 0.7 yards behind Penix for the highest. Only Bo Nix had a higher completion rate when pressured -- and his ADOT was just 7.5 yards.
  • When pressured and throwing short (4 Air Yards or less), McCarthy completed 60% of his passes, easily the best of the "big five" (all of the others were under 53%, and three were under 40%).
  • What about when he wasn't pressured and threw deep (15-plus Air Yards)? In that scenario McCarthy completed 55.2% of those throws (second-best among big five and 8th best in FBS).
  • McCarthy had 10 throws in 2022 and three in 2023 of 40-plus Air Yards. Of the 13 such attempts, three touched 50 or more Air Yards and another five were between 45 and 49. McCarthy completed 6 of 13 for 320 yards and three touchdowns with no picks.
  • What about quick throws? When getting the ball out in 2.5 seconds or less, McCarthy completed 74.9% of his passes for 7.3 yards per attempt, a 5.9 ADOT, a 3.91% TD rate and a 1.12% INT rate. This wasn't as good as others in the "big five"; McCarthy was no better than third in any category except INT rate and was worst in TD rate.
  • What about when he had time? When he had more than 2.5 seconds to throw, McCarthy completed 69.3% of his throws for 11.0 yards per attempt on a 13.0 ADOT with a 9.8% TD rate and a 1.31% INT rate. 
  • His off-target rate was 12.4%. McCarthy was third in the FBS (one spot behind Daniels) in completion rate, eighth in TD rate, ninth in yards per attempt and 13th-best in off-target rate.
  • In the red zone, McCarthy completed 65% of his throws with an 27.5% TD rate and a low 10% off-target rate. Only Williams was better on completion rate and off-target rate, and Daniels better on TD rate.- Had 216 yards on 36 attempts on easy throws -- quick outs, WR screens, backfield outs and shovel passes. McCarthy didn't pad his stats with a lot of weak throws.
  • Excluding sacks, McCarthy had 61 carries for 237 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and three touchdowns on the ground. He avoided a tackle on 29.5% of those runs, second-highest among the "big five".
  • Over his college career, McCarthy scored on 7 of 17 rush attempts inside the 10, 6 of 8 rush attempts inside the 5, and 2 of 4 rush attempts at the one-yard line.

NFL Comparison

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.