A Giants rival could end up being the one to reach for J.J. McCarthy in the NFL Draft

There's no way McCarthy goes this early in the draft, right?

NFL Combine - Portraits
NFL Combine - Portraits / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

Down the road, the rise of J.J. McCarthy in the 2024 NFL Draft is going to have to be studied in history classes. McCarthy was essentially considered a fringe first-round prospect this fall, but now it's feeling quite likely he'll end up in the Top 5.

The NY Giants have reportedly had strong interest in him for a little while, with Joe Schoen potentially eyeing him with the No. 6 overall pick. Following his showing at the NFL Combine and then his Pro Day, though, McCarthy isn't expected to still be on the clock when NY is up to send in their selection.

So, just how early will McCarthy hear his name called? According to insider Tom Pelissero, he's hearing that the Washington Commanders are so high on the Michigan product, they could end up picking him over Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels at No. 2 overall. Really?

The Washington Commanders are reportedly eyeing J.J. McCarthy with the No. 2 overall pick

At the Annual League Meeting, Pelissero has spoken with multiple executives from other teams and the McCarthy to Washington buzz is real. This kid is a gamer, we'll surely give him that. He may not have been the splashiest player in 2023, but he powered Michigan to the National Championship Game and he made some big-time plays to take down Washington.

On the year, McCarthy, a 6-3, 202-pounder, tossed for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions. In 2022, he also posted 22 touchdown passes. His numbers don't exactly jump off the page for a college player, but teams are falling in love with his arm and potential.

Still, it's hard to believe that Washington would pass on either Maye or Daniels. Caleb Williams to the Bears at No. 1 seems like a given, but the Commanders will have outstanding options available. New general manager Adam Peters is surely going to rock with a new signal-caller, but the latest McCarthy rumor is quite surprising.

If it were us, we'd go with Daniels, as the Heisman Trophy winner has the kind of dynamic abilities that are needed to succeed in today's NFL. But hey, if Washington wants to go with McCarthy and help the Giants' decision to move up and grab Daniels a bit easier, we'd be all for that too. Come late April, we'll know for sure what happens, but McCarthy at No. 2 would stun a lot of people.