Is J.J. McCarthy really worth three first round picks?

Draft season … My favorite time of year. 

As a Vikings fan, there have not been many teams that have given me a reason to think that we were going to win the Super Bowl, so my mind shifts to draft season the second they end the season 8-8 or lose in the Wild Card round. 

This season ripped my heart out and then chained it to a semi truck as it drove me all the way down to Atlanta. Now, captain Kirk is gone, for better or for worse, Danielle Hunter left for Houston and we have added 13 new players to the team already. For the first time in a while, I feel like the Vikings have a direction and a future with their roster, but they have a hole at the most important position: quarterback. 

However, with picks 11 and 23 in the first round, we have a chance to trade up to select one of the best quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft: J.J…. McCarthy? The same quarterback that rode the coattails of Jim Harbaugh’s power run system at Michigan to a national championship. 

I am not opposed to the idea of J.J. McCarthy, and I am not brainless like some people on X or TikTok that think he will be available in the third round. That’s not going to happen and it seems like he will be a top five pick. I think. 

Draft season brings a lot of smokescreens and indecisiveness with prospects, most notably at the quarterback position. Now it seems like a lot of teams are interested in J.J. McCarthy because of his potential and his maturity for being one of the youngest quarterbacks in this year’s draft. 

However, if we were to trade up for him, we would likely have to unload No. 11, 23 and a future first round pick. Personally, I would much rather take that haul and offer it to the Commanders or the Patriots to try and snag Drake Maye. Maye is currently suffering from prospect fatigue, and I think his stock is at an all-time low, at least among the media. I have no idea what some teams are thinking, including the Vikings. 

I say all of this to say that I am actually terrified of what is going to happen on draft night. On one hand, we could trade up and make a decision that propels us into contending status just like the Texans did, although I think I speak for all Vikings fans when I say we don’t want Diggs back. But on the other hand, we could stay put at no. 11 and draft Bo Nix or Michael Penix and potentially set ourselves back 10 years.

It is safe to say that draft night will determine whether or not I text my grandpa back after some Vikings games this season. Sorry Papa, if we suck I’m blocking your number for real this time.

Photo caption: The Vikings are the best landing spot for a rookie QB, and anyone that lands with KOC will have the best rookie QB season of all time. (Darron Cummings/The Associated Press)

Write to Hayden Lee at hayden.lee@my.smsu.edu

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