McCarthy to sell Michigan wins in draft interviews


INDIANAPOLIS — Michigan‘s J.J. McCarthy knows the other top quarterbacks in this year’s NFL draft have thrown more passes, completed more passes and might even had far more touchdowns.

But McCarthy said he will take the one statistic he thinks tips the scale toward him.

“You know, like, stats for me aren’t really the big thing, and all I really cared about was being the best teammate I could be and being the best quarterback I could possibly be,” McCarthy said Friday at the NFL scouting combine. “And the only stat I cared about was W’s, and we did pretty good in that category.”

McCarthy made 654 pass attempts in his two years as a starter in the Wolverines’ run-heavy offense and had 713 pass attempts in his college career. By comparison, Washington‘s Michael Penix Jr. had at least 550 attempts in each of the past two seasons, USC‘s Caleb Williams had one season of 500 attempts, and North Carolina‘s Drake Maye had a season of 500 attempts to go with 425 last season.

But McCarthy, who is the No. 23 player on Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest Big Board, led the Wolverines to 27 victories in his 28 career starts, including a win over Washington in January’s national championship game. It was the best winning percentage for a starter in five decades.

Due to what he termed “hamstring tightness,” McCarthy said he would not participate in the broad jump or vertical jump in Saturday’s on-field workout for quarterbacks at the combine but that he would throw.

McCarthy said he has met with most of the teams in the upper half of the first round. Asked about several of the teams specifically, the thoughtful McCarthy recited specific interactions with coaches and called each of the meetings “amazing.”

He has the size and mobility combination teams are looking for. McCarthy rushed for a combined 508 yards in his two years as a starter with eight rushing touchdowns. McCarthy also led the Big Ten last season with a 72.3% completion rate and threw just four interceptions.

Asked to give a scouting report on himself, McCarthy said Friday: “Tough gritty guy who only cares about winning at the end of the day. Loves the game of football with a burning passion, loves his teammates, pretty much everything you want in a starting quarterback.”

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