Reports have J.J. McCarthy as one of the first four quarterbacks to come off the board in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft.

However, not everyone is sold on the Michigan signal-caller. Media personality Chris Russo and former New York Giants legend Tiki Barber are adamant that McCarthy should not be selected in the first round.

Some NFL executives have said McCarthy is rising up the ranks because of the different people involved in the draft this offseason, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

“What you’re seeing now is the coaches and (offensive) coordinators are more involved in the draft process (in March and April), and they are realizing, (expletive), he’s a pro already,” an NFC executive said, per Fowler. “And he showed more arm strength at his pro day than I thought he had.”

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With a variety of evaluators all over the map on McCarthy, he has become the most captivating quarterback prospect in the draft.

“I’m buying the hype that he goes high,” a high-ranking official told Fowler. “He’s got something to him from a leadership and makeup standpoint that resonates.”

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Why are the evaluations of McCarthy not as consistent as those of Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye?

“McCarthy wasn’t a game manager because they had something to hide,” an NFL scout told Fowler. “He has high-level traits. It’s more of a function of Jim Harbaugh’s offense. He’s never been asked to throw 30-plus times a game, but I think he can handle it.”

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Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer offered his take on McCarthy last week, which, like many others, was not necessarily completely pro or con.

“What you have with McCarthy, I think, is a guy who’s got experience running a pro-style offense, who’s shown that he can be a leader,” Breer said. “Who has good intangibles — like, really, really good intangibles. … He’s a really good athlete too. This is not Mac Jones. It’s not Drake Maye, but it’s not Mac Jones.

“I think the knocks on McCarthy are everything’s a fastball, and he needs time and space to throw. He’s got a really strong arm, but he throws his entire body into it.”

The only way to know for certain if McCarthy can succeed in the NFL is when he suits up for whichever team selects him in the draft. The first round of the draft gets underway on April 25 from Detroit.

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Featured image via Junfu Han / USA TODAY Sports Images