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Todd McShay mocks Michigan QB in first round of the 2024 NFL Draft

Can J.J. McCarthy become the caliber of quarterback not seen in Ann Arbor since 1987?

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Michigan v TCU Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The buzz around the starting quarterback for the Michigan Wolverines is growing louder by the day. A year removed from a quarterback competition with Iowa quarterback Cade McNamara, J.J. McCarthy is now being projected as a first-round NFL draft pick in 2024.

In his annual “way-too-early” mock, ESPN draft expert Todd McShay has McCarthy going to the Minnesota Vikings at pick No. 20. Granted, while all early mock drafts are inherently silly, they do provide a nice barometer of expectations for rising draft-eligible players.

In his first year as a starter, McCarthy guided the Wolverines to a 13-0 record and a second consecutive Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff appearance. Statistically, he completed 64.6% of his passes for 2,719 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Most analysts expect McCarthy to take a massive leap this season with a team that returns the third-most production in the Power Five. If McCarthy continues on this trajectory, he will join Jake Rudock (2016; Rd. 6, Pick 191) as the only other Harbaugh-era quarterback to be drafted. He would also become Michigan’s first first-round quarterback selection since Harbaugh in 1987.