Prospect: J.J. McCarthy
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-2, 190 pounds
School: La Grange Park (Ill.) Nazareth Academy
Committed to: Michigan
Projected Position: Quarterback
Frame: Adequate height with some length and plenty of room to fill out. Can play in the 210-pound range in college.
Athleticism: Good overall athlete with a big arm. Easy third-level ability with that live arm. Quicker than fast but can threaten the chains with his legs when pressed. Active feet in the pocket. Snap reads through progression with quick, decisive trigger thereafter.
Instincts: Strong pocket presence with the ability to extend the play as a passer. Tough competitor with some fearlessness in climbing the pocket looking for the big play. Good anticipation and timing, particularly on routes outside the numbers and down the field. Trusts his arm as much as any passer in the country and will occasionally test strength in throwing across his body.
Polish: Easy release with some velocity on the football. Delivery can be tightened but there is drive to compensate. Stands tall in the pocket with a strong base. Flashes well throwing on the run, even vertically. Comfortable with eyes downfield and aware enough to evade initial pressure.
Bottom Line: McCarthy is a gunslinger with the natural arm, athleticism and confidence to become a defensive coordinator’s menace in short order. As he elevates his game with natural physical progression at the collegiate level, there won’t be many young passers at that level with the raw tools he has at his disposal. McCarthy will fill it up once he gets his shot on Saturdays and it should lead to Sunday opportunity.