NFL Rumors: Cowboys-Mike Evans warning, Lions star extension, McCarthy surprise

  • J.J. McCarthy lands with surprise NFC contender
  • Lions, Amon-Ra St. Brown are engaged in extension talks
  • Cowboys warned not to pursue Mike Evans in free agency

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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NFL rumors: J.J. McCarthy selected by Rams in latest NFL Mock Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft features two QB tiers at the top. There's a strong chance Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels go 1-2-3 overall. From there, it's a fairly steep drop-off. That doesn't mean other names won't be considered in the first round, though. Washington's Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon's Bo Nix are fan favorites, but Michigan star J.J. McCarthy is rapidly gaining steam as the projected QB4 on draft night.

A new mock draft from The Ringer has McCarthy at No. 8 to the Atlanta Falcons, but that is extreme. The general consensus places McCarthy more toward the middle or back end of Round 1, which leads to a particularly intriguing projection from CBS Sports' Garrett Podell.

He has the Los Angeles Rams selecting McCarthy with the No. 19 pick.

"Rams head coach Sean McVay takes a page out of former assistant and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur's playbook by taking a first-round quarterback to cook on the bench for a year or two. It certainly paid dividends in Green Bay's move from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love. The Rams hit it out of the park with their 2023 draft selections of Kobie Turner and Byron Young up front, providing them some wiggle room to go best player available with their first Round 1 selection in years. Learning from Matthew Stafford could be exactly what McCarthy needs to have a solid NFL career after playing predominantly in a run-first offense at Michigan."

McCarthy was electric in his final, championship-winning season at Michigan, completing 72.3 percent of his pass attempts for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns, and four interceptions in 15 starts. That said, Michigan hammed the run more than the average college football powerhouse. There are real concerns about McCarthy's arm talent and upside. He gets pegged with the "game manager" label all the time. Is he Brock Purdy or Jimmy Garoppolo? Is that a joke? Yes.

The idea of letting McCarthy develop and learn the ropes behind Matthew Stafford is compelling. The Rams went 10-7 last season, defying expectations en route to a Wild Card appearance. Los Angeles almost knocked off America's favorite underdogs in Detroit, so Sean McVay's team still has some competitive juice left.

The Jordan Love comparison is, frankly, a bit idealistic. Love was a better prospect. But, the process behind such a move is solid. The uncertainty around Stetson Bennett only increases the Rams' need to address the backup QB situation. McCarthy does that, while also cementing a succession plan.