The J.J. McCarthy Hype Train Continues to Choo Choo

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It’s a new era in the Twin Cities, as Kirk Cousins left for the Atlanta Falcons in March, and the Minnesota Vikings drafted J.J. McCarthy in April.

The J.J. McCarthy Hype Train Continues to Choo Choo

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah scooped McCarthy out of Round 1 with the 10th overall pick after a trade up the board with the New York Jets. Alongside McCarthy, veteran passer Sam Darnold is in the Vikings’ quarterback room and on tap to start in Week 1.

Hype Train
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And while McCarthy could be QB2 or QB3 out of the gate, his teammates have done little to slow the hype train. Blake Cashman was the latest example, touting McCarthy’s development and upside on the Jim Rome Show.

“Yeah, 21 years old but a great young man. He’s a leader. He is eager to learn. A lot of young guys, sometimes they can come in, be a little timid or shy,” Cashman praised McCarthy this week. “But he’s walking around the locker room, big smile on his face, shaking hands, getting to know everybody.”

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Cashman, too, is a newcomer — sort of … he’s from Eden Prairie — added to the Vikings’ roster from free agency. He previously played for the Houston Texans and New York Jets, but his Eden Prairie High School roots evidently lured him to his home state. Cashman is slated to be a Viking through the end of 2026.

He added about his new quarterback, “I didn’t realize how much heat he could put on the ball. He’s got a great long ball. And even those tight windows, which close fast at the next level — he can zip the ball past a linebacker or safety’s head and squeeze it in those tight windows. And that’s very promising to see.”

Vikings News
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Virtually every onlooker — teammates, coaches, and media — has praised McCarthy’s throwing velocity, leadership, and poise. Eventually, it’ll be a matter of translating to a regular season field, a takeover with an unknown start date.

“He’s going to be a great player for a long time. I can’t wait to continue to see his growth — not only his development as a quarterback [and] the skills, but also become an even smarter player,” Cashman concluded.

bleacher report
J.J. McCarthy with the Minnesota Vikings practice highlights from OTA No. 2 of 2024, which took place at the TCO Performance Center. The Minnesota Vikings used the 10th overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft to select McCarthy after a trade up the board with the New York Jets.

McCarthy is the highest-drafted quarterback in franchise history. Before April 25th, Minnesota had never used a Top 10 pick on a passer, but it’s a new day with McCarthy in the house. If he somehow dethrones Darnold for the QB1 job this summer, the young Wolverine would become the first rookie quarterback ever to start a Week 1 game for the Vikings.

Until then, folks must rely on teammates’ assessments of the 21-year-old.

Vikings training camp gets underway on July 19th.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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