The quarterback buzz in in the 2024 NFL Draft is starting to take shape. Benjamin Allbright and Dane Brugler dropped a nugget on where J.J. McCarthy, the top quarterback from Michigan, will likely land. Given that McCarthy has been talked about as a top-25 pick for a while, this is news that could affect the Pittsburgh Steelers if they even planned to look at what McCarthy could bring to the table.
League is definitely higher on McCarthy (top 10) and lower on Nix/Penix (day2/3) than media/fans according to the people I talk to.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) February 8, 2024
First, Allbright said that Michigan quarterback J.J McCarthy is far likelier to end up in the top ten than anywhere else. That’s not where the media is consistently mocking him at this point; though he is seen as a first-round pick, most people have him pegged in the back half of the first round rather than catapulting his way all the way into the top ten. If that is the case, it feels like four quarterbacks will go in the top ten. But Brugler backed this up on Saturday, stating that McCarthy seems poised to go somewhere in the top 12 of the NFL Draft.
I believe we'll see 4-5 teams look into moving up for a QB over the next few months. Teams aren't excited about next year's QB class.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) February 10, 2024
Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah shared that the whole NFL is not too excited about the crop of quarterbacks in the 2025 NFL Draft. If that is the case, it could push guys like McCarthy up the board. If it does push someone like McCarthy up the board, that could mean a few things. For one, the top four quarterbacks will go before the Steelers even get on the board, which could push a top tackle or cornerback down the board.
But all of that movement could still have repercussions throughout the class. If four of the top ten picks are quarterbacks, it becomes likelier that a tackle, cornerback, or someone of significant value to the Steelers makes it to 20th overall. And it seems like the mid-round for quarterbacks is somewhat settled, with guys like Spencer Rattler at least boosting themselves up into the fourth-round range over the last few weeks. Given that the Steelers’ draft investment in a quarterback feels tied to a mid or late-round pick, that is significant news to them.
McCarthy’s coming into the class as one of those guys with tools that are intriguing, but he’s clearly not fully there just yet. He is the moldable ball of clay that teams will try to get their hands on, hoping he can reach his ceiling. Some mock drafts are emerging now with McCarthy going before Jayden Daniels. If Daniels gets into range, does Pittsburgh at least think about it? It wouldn’t be that surprising, but it seems like the more time that goes by, the less likely it is that McCarthy makes it anywhere close to 20th overall.