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Vikings trade up twice in Round 1 to select J.J. McCarthy, Dallas Turner

It took just 10 picks for five quarterbacks to come off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Minnesota Vikings selected Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick, which they acquired via trade with the New York Jets. Minnesota traded the Nos. 11, 129 and 157 picks to the New York Jets for the Nos. 10 and 203, hopping up one place to take the national title-winning signal-caller.

New York followed a pick later at No. 11 by selecting Olumuyiwa Fashanu, an offensive tackle out of Penn State, to bolster Aaron Rodgers' offensive line, though he might begin as a developmental project.

The selection of McCarthy marked the first time in NFL history five quarterbacks were selected in the first 10 picks of a draft.

Minnesota was also responsible for the next trade in the draft, moving up to the No. 17 overall slot by sending the Jacksonville Jaguars the No. 23 overall pick (LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr.), No. 167, a 2025 third-round pick and a 2025 fourth-round pick.

With that move, the Vikings drafted Alabama pass rusher Dallas Turner, who officially put his name on NFL radars in his third and final season at Alabama by earning first-team All-American and All-SEC honors, along with the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award. He led the Crimson Tide with 14.5 tackles for loss in 14 games. Despite losing running mate Will Anderson to the Houston Texans in 2023, Turner shined, recording a career-high 10 sacks (tied for eighth-most in the FBS), two forced fumbles and 53 tackles.

He'll be entrusted with helping replace Danielle Hunter and bolstering the team's pass rush after Hunter departed in free agency.

The 6-foot-2, 219-pound McCarthy was a five-star recruit out of the Chicago area who picked the Wolverines and saw time behind starter Cade McNamara as a true freshman before taking over the starting job as a sophomore.

In 2022, McCarthy was named third-team All-Big Ten, starting 13 of 14 games with a 12-1 record. He threw for 2,719 yards, 22 touchdowns and only five interceptions, adding five rushing TDs. Michigan's lone loss came in the Fiesta Bowl against TCU, as McCarthy threw two picks.

But he wouldn't lose another college game, leading Michigan to a 15-0 mark and a national championship victory over Washington after beating Alabama in the Rose Bowl.

McCarthy threw for 2,991 yards, 22 TDs and only four interceptions in 2023, adding three rushing scores. He increased his completion percentage to a whopping 72.3, making big strides in that department after completing only 57.6% of his throws as a freshman and 64.6% as a sophomore. McCarthy was named Big Ten Griese–Brees Quarterback of the Year and first-team All-Big Ten, while also finishing 10th in the Heisman Trophy Award balloting.

Although McCarthy's stats aren't quite as gaudy as those of some of the other top passers in this class, his intangibles appear to be off the charts. Former Michigan coach (and current Chargers head coach) Jim Harbaugh has raved about McCarthy, calling him the "best quarterback in Michigan history" -- a list that includes the likes of Tom Brady and Harbaugh himself. McCarthy's 27-1 record as a starting QB also speaks for itself.

McCarthy elevated his NFL profile with strong throwing sessions at both the NFL Scouting Combine and at Michigan's pro day. As NFL Network's Lance Zierlein wrote, McCarthy's "ball placement and timing need to improve," and he sometimes "leaves throws behind moving targets, allowing defenders to challenge catches."

But as NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah points out, McCarthy is an "athletic quarterback with a live/loose arm" and maintains consistency with "his ability to always throw from a firm base, with his feet and eyes connected." Jeremiah rated McCarthy as the draft's No. 20 overall prospect, comparing him favorably to former NFL QB Alex Smith, style-wise.

Some observers might naturally be suspicious of his fast rise during the draft process, but McCarthy possesses a lot of qualities many successful NFL quarterbacks do, with solid tangibles and terrific intangibles. How it will translate to the next level -- and how fast McCarthy could take the field -- remain to be seen. But it's hard to argue with the results, even while McCarthy wasn't able to flash as much individual skill as other passers in this class did in college.

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