Patriots Hosting Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

The closer and closer we get to the 2024 NFL Draft, the more certain it seems that a run of quarterbacks will start the event. What continues to be entirely uncertain is the pecking order of passers following USC quarterback Caleb Williams. One popular name who continues to see his stock rise is Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who is set to visit the Patriots over the next two days, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

McCarthy originally entered the pre-draft process as a likely candidate to be selected outside of the first round. The former starter of the reigning College Football Playoff champion Wolverines, McCarthy flew up draft boards as the pre-draft process went on, essentially cementing his status as a likely Day 1 pick. As he’s continued to impress at the NFL scouting combine and Michigan’s pro day, McCarthy’s draft stock has risen even more, making a case not only to be a top-four draft pick, but also to be the No. 2 overall selection after Williams.

Following the Bears’ No. 1 overall pick, the Commanders and Patriots follow at Nos. 2 and 3. McCarthy visited Washington earlier this week, and now he’ll get out to New England for a visit with the Patriots. McCarthy has come a long way from being in danger of falling outside of the first round and is now garnering attention from two teams at the top of this month’s draft.

It’s not all up to McCarthy, though. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels and North Carolina passer Drake Maye have long been in the conversation for the those second and third picks, as well. Maye saw the Commanders and Patriots comprise the largest NFL contingents at his pro day. Daniels, though, is seeming to be the favorite to be picked by Washington. If Daniels is, indeed, the choice at No. 2 overall, this weekend’s trip to New England could do a lot to affect the Patriots’ intentions at No. 3.

Of course, there’s always a chance that the Patriots could choose to trade back out of the third overall selection, not taking Maye, Daniels, or McCarthy, but that’s a very unlikely scenario. According to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston, the price for New England to move out of the top three is likely going to be too high for any team to accomplish a move up into their draft slot.

So, McCarthy’s visit looms large. The 21-year-old will reportedly have dinner tonight with team officials before spending tomorrow in Foxborough for his visit. He’ll be the last out of himself, Daniels, and Maye to meet with the team, but if he can leave the best, lasting impression, he could find himself as the preferred option at No. 3, if he doesn’t get chosen by Washington at No. 2, of course.

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