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How Will Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy's Rising Stock Help the Jets?

Top Prospects LSU’s Jayden Daniels, UNC’s Drake Maye Taking Meetings with Bears, Commanders and Patriots

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy speaks at the podium during a press conference at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Kevin Sabitus/NFL)

The top quarterbacks in the NFL Draft took center stage at the NFL Combine last week, completing media availabilities before some participated in drills Saturday.

The Jets are set at starting QB with Aaron Rodgers, but NFL Network's Ian Rapoport recently reported that the Green & White were expected to meet with USC's Caleb Williams and spend time with LSU QB Jayden Daniels at the Combine. The Jets will do their due diligence on all the passers but an early run on QBs could set them up with several options at the No. 10 selection.

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy's Rising Stock
In NFL Network Media Analyst Daniel Jermiah's first mock draft,on Jan. 19, he did not have Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy being selected in the first round. In his latest mock draft that came out on Feb. 20, he projected McCarthy to the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 8 selection.

What changed?

In his final two seasons at Michigan, McCarthy didn't display the gaudy numbers of his counterparts, throwing for 44 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in 29 games, but he led the Wolverines to a 28-1 record, which included a victory over Washington in the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship.

Based on the latest projections from draft analysts around the league, McCarthy has been one of the biggest risers early in the draft process. At the Combine on Friday, McCarthy said he met with the Raiders (No. 13), Broncos (No. 12), Patriots (No. 3), Vikings (No. 11), Buccaneers (No. 26), Giants (No. 6), Bears (No. 1, 9) and Seahawks (No. 16).

"Stats for me wasn't really the big thing," McCarthy said. "All I cared about was being the best teammate I could possibly be and best QB. The only stat I cared about were W's and we did pretty well in that category."

McCarthy's elevation could lead the way for the some of the class's best tackles – Notre Dame's Joe Alt, Penn State's Olu Fashanu and Oregon State's Taliese Fuaga – and wide receivers – Washington's Rome Odunze and LSU's Malik Nabers – to fall to the Jets at No. 10.

Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye Taking Meetings With Teams Drafting in Top 3
At the Combine, LSU's Jayden Daniels and UNC's Drake Maye continued to projectas two of the top prospects in April's draft.

Maye, a 21-year-old junior, has been a projected as anearly first rounder since he finished his sophomore season with 38 touchdowns and 7 interceptions and was named 2022 ACC Player of the Year. This past season, Maye did not have the same production throwing for 25 TDs and 9 picks.

Maye told the media he met with the Bears (Nos. 1, 9), Patriots (No. 3), Commanders (No. 2), Giants (No. 6), Falcons (No. 8), Broncos (No. 12) and Raiders (No. 13), and spoke highly of Washington's new head coach Dan Quinn.

"With Coach Quinn, it was great," Maye said. "Things kind of clicked right off the bat. He's a great guy and a great coach. The stuff he's done defensively with the [Dallas] Cowboys over the past three years has been pretty special."

For Daniels, he started his career at Arizona State before transferring to LSU after 29 starts in three seasons. After a quiet first year, Daniels broke out in Year 2 with 40 touchdown passes, 4 interceptions and 1,134 yards rushing en route to a Heisman Trophy.

"From ASU to LSU, my overall growth has been my biggest improvement, not just as a player but as a person," Daniel said. "From '18 to finishing my last game in '22, it has been a long journey and my growth as a person has been my biggest change."

Daniels told reporters he has already met with the Bears (Nos. 1, 9), Commanders (No. 2), Patriots (No. 3) and Raiders (No. 13).

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