Michigan OC cautions NFL teams about passing on J.J. McCarthy

Former Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh made a bold statement about J.J. McCarthy on the Rich Eisen Show in early-February, saying, “Mark my words, don’t be surprised when he’s maybe the No.1 quarterback off the board.”
The comment from Harbaugh, now with the Los Angeles Chargers, seemed outlandish at the time as McCarthy was widely being projected outside the top 10 and behind the top-tier group of quarterbacks: Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye.
Williams is still the consensus No. 1 pick, but experts have reported that McCarthy’s stock is on the rise.
Michigan offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kirk Campbell is focused on determining McCarthy’s replacement this spring, but he’s also been actively promoting the 2023 Big Ten quarterback of the year to any NFL team that asks about him.
“A+++,” Campbell said of McCarthy Friday in Ann Arbor. “There’s not a can’t-miss with the guy. If you don’t draft him, you’re missing out. I’ve told all of them the same thing. There’s nothing you’re missing. Just love that kid.”
McCarthy threw in front of scouts at the NFL Scouting Combine March 2, unlike the other three top quarterback prospects. He also is slated to throw at Michigan’s pro day next Friday – another opportunity to showcase his ability.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said earlier this week that McCarthy could overtake Maye on his draft board. The former five-star prospect also is appearing earlier in recent mock drafts.
After the Atlanta Falcons signed Kirk Cousins in free agency, The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner predicted that the Minnesota Vikings will trade with the Chargers for the No. 5 pick and select McCarthy.
Meanwhile, SportsNet New York‘s Connor Hughes recently reported that McCarthy is the player the Giants are targeting at No. 6.
In the latest mock from CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso projected McCarthy will be selected before Maye, heading to the Giants.
McCarthy hasn’t thrown nearly as many college passes as Williams, Daniels or Maye, but he also was 27-1 as a starter at Michigan.
“I’m just fortunate enough that he loves me too,” Campbell said. “We have great conversations daily and excited to have him back. He’ll be around soon. I think he’s coming back (Saturday.)
“He’ll be here for the week through pro day and just excited to have him around. He’s got a bright future. He really does. If they don’t draft them, they’re missing out.”

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