Justin Jefferson Sheds Light on Vikings New QB

mock draft
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) warms up before Ohio State game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Justin Jefferson’s Netflix show Receiver premiered on Wednesday, and to promote that series, the young Viking made the rounds on the media circuit.

Justin Jefferson Sheds Light on Vikings New QB

Along the way, Jefferson opined on his new quarterback, J.J. McCarthy, who will take the franchise’s reins before too long. And so far, Jefferson is impressed.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

“I like J.J. He’s learning and asking questions. They put J.J.’s locker right next to mine. They want me to be the guy that J.J. can always talk to and ask questions, and he’s definitely that type of kid,” Jefferson told The Rich Eisen Show on Tuesday. “He wants to ask questions; he wants to learn how to become a top quarterback; he wants to learn how to become a problem in this league. I love his attitude.”

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. It’s a new era in the Twin Cities, as Kirk Cousins left for the Atlanta Falcons in March

Justin Jefferson
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson also provided a bit of a warning for the young quarterback: “Of course, there are a lot of expectations, but I always tell him: Don’t worry about the expectations. All you have to do is to carry yourself with confidence.”

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.

At minicamp, though, head coach Kevin O’Connell made it quite clear — without provocation — that Sam Darnold would likely start in Week 1 for the purple team. O’Connell said about QB1 as Darnold’s gig to lose: “We haven’t had to put out a depth chart or anything like that, but I would say Sam would be the guy I would look to based on the spring he’s had and, really, where he’s at in his career and his quarterback journey, and what he’s been able to do coming in and [hitting] the ground running and taking advantage of the competitive situation.”

Minnesota Vikings 2024 NFL Draft. Watch as QB J.J. McCarthy addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Friday. The Vikings traded up one spot on the draftboard with the New York Jets for McCarthy.

Meanwhile, Jefferson’s McCarthy praise isn’t standalone. New Vikings linebacker Blake Cashman touted McCarthy’s development and upside on the Jim Rome Show last week. “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 said. “But he’s walking around the locker room, big smile on his face, shaking hands, getting to know everybody.”

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.”

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports.

Former Viking Adam Thielen also called McCarthy “a great kid” in a recent KFAN interview.

So, in a positive way, everyone is saying the same thing about McCarthy, at least in the preseason.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.