Jim Harbaugh's QB1 in the NFL Draft is as predictable as it is absolutely ridiculous

J.J. McCarthy should have success in the NFL, but he should not be the first quarterback taken.

Jim Harbaugh, J.J. McCarthy, Michigan Wolverines
Jim Harbaugh, J.J. McCarthy, Michigan Wolverines / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

I may be higher on J.J. McCarthy as a first-round 2024 NFL Draft prospect than most are, but at this point, it wouldn't shock me if his former Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh foolishly traded up to get him No. 1 overall as the new face of the Los Angeles Chargers franchise. Truth be told, I am speechless in actually having to write out that sentence. It is pure lunacy, but we can thank Harbaugh for that idea.

While appearing on The Herd With Colin Cowherd on Friday afternoon, Harbaugh told Colin Cowherd what he thought his former Michigan quarterback brought to the table. Although I don't question McCarthy's mental make-up, leadership skills, arm talent, mobility and all other intangibles, I have him as QB4 on my board, and a damn good one, but nothing more than that. He is never going to go No. 1.

This may be Harbaugh building up the narrative for his guy, but you have to remember that Harbaugh now works for Dean Spanos and the Chargers. They have the No. 5 overall pick and a blue-chipper at quarterback in Justin Herbert. That is why the Chargers were the best job in this past hiring cycle because Herbert is that good, and the allure of working for him was simply too good to ever pass up.

Don't screw this up like I know you're going to. Just take Brock Bowers at No. 5, and be done with it...

The only way McCarthy goes first is if the Chargers traded up to No. 5 to draft him. Please don't do it...

Jim Harbaugh's NFL Draft board is as wacky and predictable as expected

In a perfect world, Harbaugh and McCarthy would get to continue working together in the NFL. If he really wanted McCarthy to be his quarterback going forward, he would have taken either the Atlanta Falcons or the Las Vegas Raiders jobs. Atlanta and Las Vegas are in far better spots to select McCarthy than Los Angeles. Even reaching on him at No. 5 would be so incredibly brutal for the Bolts.

To be honest, at some point throughout the extended draft process, I could even convince myself that McCarthy merits being QB3 on my board. I am kind of falling out of favor with my QB2 Drake Maye right now. He and presumptive No. 1 overall pick Caleb Wiliams have massive bust potential. Jayden Daniels is a fast mover for me up my board. He is QB3 pushing Maye to the limits right now.

Overall, I don't really hate the idea of Harbaugh even drafting McCarthy, but that would require trading away Herbert. Of course, Herbert is the biggest reason why anyone wanted the Chargers job in the first place. He would have so many suitors on the trading block. Going from Herbert to McCarthy would be a massive downgrade, at least initially. Unfortunately, the NFL will not allow him to go No. 1.

While I may not love him as a prospect, Williams has to go first overall. He is either going to play for the Chicago Bears, the Washington Commanders if they trade up from No. 2, or some other team we are not even thinking about right now. Chicago also has its own pick at No. 9, as well as the Carolina Panthers' at No. 1. Plus, they seem to have a good thing going with Justin Fields under center as well.

Ultimately, I do think McCarthy is one of the safest picks to be had at the quarterback position in the first round. He projects to be a better version of Brock Purdy at the next level. His teammates are going to love him and he has the potential to overcome going go a bad team. However, this unrealistic and unwanted pressure placed upon him by his former head coach over cable television is madness.

The earliest I can see McCarthy off the board is to Tennessee at No. 7, but even then that is a stretch.

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