J.J. McCarthy NFL Draft Stock: 5 teams who should bank on Michigan QB's potential

While he could return to school for his senior season, J.J. McCarthy is probably ready to turn pro.

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan Wolverines
J.J. McCarthy, Michigan Wolverines / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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All that may remain for J.J. McCarthy's illustrious college football career at Michigan is the national title bout vs. the Washington Huskies on Monday night. The two national semifinals of the final four-team College Football Playoff did not disappoint with Michigan eking one out vs. Alabama in overtime. Washington nearly blew a lead vs. Texas in the Sugar Bowl, but still prevailed in the end.

Given how much scrutiny has been placed on the Michigan program for Jim Harbaugh, and later Conner Stalions, reasons, the Wolverines could look vastly different this time next year. McCarthy could return, contend for more championships, and possibly get invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony in 2024. However, his talent is obvious enough to go in the first round of this NFL Draft.

It is his decision to make, and his alone, but I think now is the time for McCarthy to forego his final year of collegiate eligibility and enter the draft. He projects to be one of six first-round quartebacks taken this spring. He may be as high as the third quarterback taken, but probably not any lower than the fifth signal-caller off the board. My favorite things about McCarthy are his leadership and poise.

With so many NFL teams in dire need of a franchise quarterback, here are five landing spots for him.

J.J. McCarthy NFL Draft Stock: 5 teams for the Michigan quarterback

5. Seattle Seahawks could use an upgrade at quarterback to sustain

The Seattle Seahawks intrigue me. They are the NFC equivalent of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a strong franchise led by a long-time, defensive-minded head coach who will never say die. It has forced these teams to the awful middle of the NFL hierarchy, not bad enough to land a blue-chipper in the draft, but not good enough to do much of anything if the qualify for the postseason. Seattle needs to pivot.

While Geno Smith is fine under center for the Seahawks, fine is not good enough to win the NFC West going forward. The San Francisco 49ers are not going away. The Los Angeles Rams are experiencing a bounce-back season. Even the Arizona Cardinals are starting to improve under first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon. The Seahawks need a new face of the franchise and McCarthy fits the bill.

When the Seahawks are cooking under Carroll, they win with a strong ground game and a great defense. That sounds a lot like Michigan football of late, to be honest. Of course, you also need your starting quarterback to make a few big-time plays here and there, like what Russell Wilson did for years, kind of like what McCarthy has done the last two years and change with this Michigan team.

Partnering McCarthy with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron could be a lot of fun if he is their pick.