Analyst offers critical J.J. McCarthy insight amid Commanders draft link

The dakr horse remains in contention...
J.J. McCarthy
J.J. McCarthy / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A respected analyst revealed some around the league still think the Washington Commanders could take J.J. McCarthy at No. 2 overall.

Despite the recent hype surrounding Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye, one name hasn't gone away just yet. The Washington Commanders aren't giving anything away about their plans at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, but speculation is building around the league about J.J. McCarthy being in strong consideration.

The Michigan prospect saw his stock soar in recent weeks. McCarthy shone at his pro day, arguably outperforming Daniels and Maye. He's a national championship winner whose talent is being perceived differently by scouts than analysts around the media. This didn't go unnoticed by sportsbooks, who tumbled the signal-caller's odds accordingly.

Commanders could take J.J. McCarthy at No. 2

Matt Miller of ESPN stoked the fire regarding McCarthy being the second-best quarterback in this year's class. The analyst believes that - speaking to several influential figures around the NFL - McCarthy is a legitimate candidate to go No. 2 overall. Although much will depend on how Washington's new regime perceives his fit with the franchise.

"J.J. McCarthy, QB2. If this was one or two people saying it, I'd probably dismiss it as the usual April draft buzz that doesn't come to fruition. But enough sources around the NFL are whispering that McCarthy could very well be the second quarterback off the board that it has to be considered possible at this point. The Commanders will ultimately decide what works best for their franchise -- and owner Josh Harris, general manager Adam Peters, coach Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury will likely all be involved in that process -- but ruling out McCarthy in Washington would be foolish based on leaguewide intel surrounding the quarterbacks. He's currently my QB4 at No. 22 overall."

Matt Miller, ESPN

This would put the cat among the pigeons once Caleb Williams goes No. 1 to the Chicago Bears as anticipated. The consensus seems to be leaning towards Daniels. Maye's upside is tempting providing the Commanders give him time to develop. McCarthy also has qualities, but the sample size in terms of throwing credentials is limited when one considers Michigan ran a run-heavy scheme under previous head coach Jim Harbaugh.

The Commanders are keeping everyone guessing. But in the building, there should be a favorite emerging.

Even if we're unlikely to know who that is until the big night.

McCarthy being the guy would send shockwaves through the draft. The ripple effect would be extraordinary for teams looking to make a daring trade-up to land someone like Maye or Daniels in this scenario. However, if Adam Peters locks in on the Wolverines' star, fans should trust his judgment.

Peters is a supremely gifted roster constructor and talent evaluator. He's achieved success everywhere and was arguably the most influential figure behind the scenes as the San Francisco 49ers rose from obscurity to become a perennial contender. He knows what to look for in terms of athletic gifts and leadership qualities. If that leads him to McCarthy, the Commanders' fanbase should embrace their new man under center regardless of personal preference.

The time for speculation is almost over. No matter what side of the quarterback prospect fence you're on, every fan can be thankful for that.

So long as Peters and others heavily involved in the process get their decision right, that's the main thing. How they get there is irrelevant.