Former Broncos TE Pushes for Fast-Rising QB Prospect: ‘Checks All the Boxes’

J.J. McCarthy, Denver Broncos

Getty J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines.

Former Denver Broncos tight end Jake Butt spent three seasons with the organization after they selected him in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, and he has strong thoughts on the QB position.

Before his Broncos tenure, Butt spent four years in Ann Arbor with the Michigan Wolverines. Perhaps then it is school spirit, but Butt is also a big proponent of fellow former Wolverine and 2024 quarterback prospect J.J. McCarthy.

“I would have loved to say J.J. was my quarterback. It’s everything about him,” Butt said, per the Denver Post’s Troy Renck on March 24. “It’s the way he gets the play call out and controls the huddle. Before a word leaves a quarterback’s lips, his teammates better know he’s dialed in. That you know the motions, and checks, and will put us in the right play.  … J.J. checks all the boxes.”

McCarthy has received lofty praise throughout the pre-draft process for his ability to do just that: process.

Multiple draft evaluators compare him to former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

However, questions persist about McCarthy’s relatively light workload, especially in comparison to his classmates. Some of them rewrote the NCAA record books and/or took home trophies last season.

J.J. McCarthy ‘Extremely Disciplined’

J.J. McCarthy, Jim Harbaugh, Denver Broncos

Getty J.J. McCarthy #9 and head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines.

McCarthy, Butt argues, did what coaches asked of him en route to winning the National Championship this past season.

“He played in a system in Michigan and was never asked to win by himself,” Butt said, per Renck. “It was not sexy. And I think that’s to his advantage. Some guys would have pressed in his position. J.J. understood that he could only lose the game by making mistakes. He was extremely disciplined with the football.

“Throw on the tape, and you will see he can make all the throws.”

Butt went on to say that Broncos head coach Sean Payton is a “hard (expletive).” But he noted that former Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh – now of the Los Angeles Chargers – is cut from a similar cloth.

McCarthy, Butt said, never wavered and stands a good chance of succeeding at the next level because of it.

Broncos May Have to Trade Up to Land QB of the Future

George Paton, Denver Broncos

GettyGeneral manager George Paton of the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos sit at No. 12 in the draft. That would have been more than high enough to select McCarthy before this past season when ESPN’s Matt Miller projected the former Wolverine passer to fall to the 21st overall pick in his preseason mock draft from August 24.

Miller’s most recent read on McCarthy’s draft stock is vastly different from then.

“One general manager I talked to this week said McCarthy is a top-six pick right now,” Miller wrote in his latest intel from March 23. “The question is who will trade up to get him.”

The Broncos only have two selections in the top 100 of the draft. Moving up into a position that would secure McCarthy could cost them future draft capital. That is an ominous proposition. Their previous dealings put them in their current predicament.

Payton, who has yet to attend any pro days, has a major decision ahead of him, Renck writes.

Read More