July 22, 2024

Analyst provides troubling take on J.J. McCarthy

Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy has left plenty of questions after failing to quickly rip the starting job away from Sam Darnold. In a race across teams with Denver Broncos first-year signal-caller Bo Nix, McCarthy has generated even more questions.

In the mind of Mile High Huddle’s Keith Cummings, McCarthy trails Nix in his development, offering great news for Broncos fans. On the other hand, it leaves Vikings fans on the defensive, hoping for a faster turnaround for McCarthy.

Here’s how Cummings put it:

“Nix has seemingly emerged from Denver’s OTA sessions looking like the more steady hand than McCarthy, despite some observers saying Jarrett Stidham came out on top overall,” he wrote.

He continued, explaining why Sean Payton was comfortable watching McCarthy join the Vikings:

“The knock on McCarthy heading into the draft was that his body of work was too thin to merit selling the farm for a team like the Broncos to trade up and get him. That’s why the Broncos were more than comfortable letting the Minnesota Vikings take McCarthy at No. 10 overall.”

He went on to express expectations that McCarthy and Nix will tighten up in their race once again at some point.

Of course, McCarthy presents reasons for hope in his ability to win a college championship. However, his young 21 years of age and lack of experience may explain why he trails Nix early in the summer of 2024.

That said, with both quarterbacks still fighting for a starting job, this all becomes quite subjective.

J.J. McCarthy’s loses early comparison to Bo Nix

Nix, 24, has been around the block in the football world several more times than McCarthy. It didn’t show in the championship column, but it does show in the statistics category, per Sports Reference.

McCarthy threw for 22 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2023. Meanwhile, Nix more than doubled his production, earning 45 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Looking at their 2022 numbers, Nix also arguably comes out ahead as well.

McCarthy totaled 22 passing touchdowns and five interceptions in 2022. In that same season, Nix threw for 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Perhaps just as troubling, McCarthy didn’t show much improvement with his production year over year at the tail end of his college career. Meanwhile, Nix displayed clear statistical improvement.

If a player cannot improve in college, it remains to be seen if he can improve in professional football. Thus far, Nix appears to be in the lead.