The Seattle Seahawks have a tough decision to make very soon: keep Geno Smith for another year, or move on to another quarterback.
If they choose the latter, then acquiring said quarterback through the 2024 NFL Draft feels like the most-likely option. Seattle is too far down the board to get one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft, likely even with a trade up, but there are still plenty of quality options later on.
One of said options is Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy, but not without some controversy. McCarthy has received plenty of praise for his fundamental skill set, namely his decision-making and arm strength. However, with Michigan's offense being so run-heavy, he hasn't had much of a chance to show his talent in game, with just one 300-yard passing game out of 15 in the Wolverine's national championship season.
Despite those concerns, some pundits are still very high on McCarthy, perhaps none more so than Fox college football analyst Joel Klatt. Furthermore, Klatt believes that Mike Macdonald's Seahawks could be the team to bring out McCarthy's full potential. His reason? Macdonald is used to working with a speedy quarterback in Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson, and McCarthy boasts a surprising running ability of his own.
“I’m not saying in any way shape or form that J.J. is comparable to Lamar,” Klatt said on Seattle Sports' Brock and Salk. “But I will say that that (Macdonald) understands the importance of the quarterback’s ability to create between two and five first downs with his legs a game.
“Those are monumental because the defense can do everything right, which he’s uniquely aware, and then all of a sudden the quarterback makes you wrong. J.J. has that ability.”
Throughout the 2023 season, McCarthy ran 64 times for 202 yards and three touchdowns. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when reading those stats.
First, sacks count as negative rushing yards in college football, so that hurts McCarthy's totals a bit. Second, McCarthy has proven that he can scramble to create plays when needed, doing so to great effect in the National Championship Game against the Washington Huskies.
Add on the fact that Macdonald and McCarthy are familiar with each other, with the former being Michigan's defensive coordinator in the latter's freshman season, and Klatt believes this could be a match made in Heaven.
“He would be in an offense that is familiar to him,” Klatt said. “In a system and a language that would be familiar to him, not necessarily schematically, but from a philosophical standpoint.”