Holley: ‘Really good chance’ Patriots take J.J. McCarthy at No. 3

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The J.J. McCarthy hype train continues to gain steam.

While McCarthy was viewed as a late first-round pick at best earlier this offseason, the Michigan quarterback prospect has rocketed up draft boards since the NFL Scouting Combine, with many draft experts now pegging him as a potential top-five pick in the same class as the consensus top three QBs — USC’s Caleb Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and UNC’s Drake Maye.

On Monday’s edition of NBC Sports Boston’s Boston Sports Tonight, co-host Michael Holley shared some eye-opening insight regarding McCarthy and the New England Patriots, who own the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

“There’s a really good chance he could wind up on the New England Patriots,” Holley said of McCarthy, as seen in the video player above.

“I’m hearing more and more chatter that J.J. McCarthy is high, if not first, on the boards of the Washington Commanders and the New England Patriots. He may be QB1 for both of those teams.”

Holley added he’d been skeptical of the McCarthy hype to date, but admitted there might be some fire behind the smoke surrounding the 21-year-old QB.

“I know I’ve dismissed it here. I’m gonna have to dial that back,” Holley said of McCarthy’s potential. “I’ve been told that I may need to dial it back a little bit, and that it is not a crazy thought to say that J.J. McCarthy is gonna go in the top five — maybe the top three, including New England.”

McCarthy is a polarizing QB prospect. He went 27-1 with a 68.3 completion percentage, 5,680 yards, 44 touchdown passes and nine interceptions as Michigan’s starting quarterback over the last two seasons, leading the Wolverines to a 15-0 record and a national championship in 2023. But Michigan’s dominant run game and strong offensive line didn’t require McCarthy to carry the offensive load in the way that Williams and Maye, for example, did with their teams.

So, you could either argue that McCarthy is nothing more than a “system” QB who will struggle if placed in a suboptimal offensive situation (like New England), or that he’s a proven winner who has the intangibles to succeed at the NFL level.

🔊 Patriots Talk Podcast: Is J.J. McCarthy now the object of Patriots’ desire? | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

It does appear there’s real interest in McCarthy, however: NFL Draft expert Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda recently told our Tom E. Curran that de facto Patriots general manager Eliot Wolf is “pushing” to select McCarthy, while ESPN’s Matt Miller recently reported that McCarthy “could very well be the second quarterback off the board,” going to Washington with the No. 2 pick.

McCarthy reportedly is scheduled to meet with the Patriots on a top-30 visit next week, so perhaps we’ll have a clearer sense of what they think of the QB prospect then.

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