Vikings Selecting J.J. McCarthy Broke an NFL Draft Record Held by His Former Coach

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy speaks during the national championship celebration.
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy speaks during the national championship celebration. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan has had more than its fair share of great quarterbacks over the years—Benny Friedman, Dennis Franklin, Rick Leach, Chad Henne and Denard Robinson, to name but a few. The Wolverines have also watched a relatively so-so quarterback, Tom Brady, go on to legendary professional heights.

However, their quarterback history came with a quirk. Until Thursday, Michigan never had a quarterback selected earlier than the No. 26 pick in the NFL draft.

That changed, of course, when the Minnesota Vikings took quarterback J.J. McCarthy at No. 10. McCarthy not only became the earliest Wolverines signal-caller drafted—he also broke a record that was previously held by Jim Harbaugh, his former coach.

Harbaugh was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1987. He spent seven years with the Bears before signing with the Indianapolis Colts, with whom he reached the Pro Bowl in 1995.

After winning the national championship with Michigan in 2023, Harbaugh left for the Los Angeles Chargers on Jan. 24.


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.