Commanders deep dive: Attempting to solve Adam Peters' QB conundrum

This pick will decide the future of the Washington Commanders.
J.J. McCarthy
J.J. McCarthy / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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J.J. McCarthy

Is J.J. McCarthy worthy of a top 5 pick? No, but I do think he is a little underrated.

The big thing with McCarthy is he’s a winner and a leader. This shouldn't have a positive impact on his draft stock, but it means a little something. His maturity level is impressive. People make the argument that he was never asked to throw because Michigan ran the ball frequently, which is true. But he always stepped up in key passing moments.

McCarthy does something that every NFL quarterback has to have - that is throw well across the middle. This was his best trait in college. He is like a seasoned veteran when playing in structure. He always takes what the defense gives him. The Wolverines' standout sometimes makes great out-of-structure plays, but he doesn’t force them.

His processing is odd. McCarthy has some pre-snap recognition concerns. He isn’t as gifted athletically as Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels, but he shows enough that it can help when the situation dictates.

Not throwing a ton in Michigan’s offense is a slight concern. The biggest complication when the Washington Commanders study McCarthy is his ball placement and accuracy. It’s not great. The only reason it didn’t lead to more pass breakups and interceptions is the standard of competition.

If McCarthy plays with the same poor accuracy and ball placement in the NFL, it will lead to a lot more turnover-worthy mistakes. This also leads to a poor short-area game and hinders the receivers' ability for yards after the catch. He also seems to lock onto his first pre-snap read for way too long.

McCarthy's arm strength is nowhere near good enough for him to get away with rolling out of a clean pocket, as he needs to set a base and wind up to throw a long ball. Opposite of his elite ability to throw to the middle of the field, he signal-caller struggled heavily with throwing to outside the numbers.

That said, the Commanders are right to examine his prospects in greater detail. Whether it's enough to make him the guy at No. 2 overall is another matter.