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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

JJ McCarthy not expected to start for Vikings?

JJ McCarthy talks with the media

The Minnesota Vikings traded up in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, selecting Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy at No. 10 overall. But despite that hefty investment, McCarthy not be under center in Week 1 when the Vikes take on the New York Giants.

Throughout organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp — at least those that were open to reporters — it was Sam Darnold who took most first-team reps. That led ESPN’s Viking beat writer, Kevin Seifert, to declare, “(McCarthy) squarely behind veteran Sam Darnold on the depth chart.”

But Seifert isn’t the only one who sees things that way.

While appearing on the Ross Tucker Podcast this week, long-time NFL analyst Greg Cosell also suggested that McCarthy isn’t ready to start and that’s unlikely to change by the end of training camp.

“He’s got a lot of work to do with this mechanics,” Cosell said. “There’s a lot to work on fundamentally and mechanically. He’s a guy that actually has a strong arm but doesn’t play as if he has a strong arm because there are so many issues that have to be cleaned up.

“I can tell you right now, there were a lot of people that gave him a third-round grade. So, I can tell you that for a fact.”

McCarthy’s pre-draft grade aside, his poor footwork and messy mechanics have led to wild inaccuracy this spring. At any given time, he looks like Kirk Cousins, putting the ball right where it needs to be only to follow it up with three or four passes being drilled into the ground yards from the intended receiver.

With the necessary work and coaching, McCarthy has the potential to become a successful quarterback at the NFL level but that’s going to take time. The Vikings have to be patient and avoid throwing him to the wolves, which appears to be something they’re aware of. So unless something drastically changes this summer, Darnold will likely get the call to start the season.

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