A few days ago, I wrote an article detailing a little conspiracy theory I had about the Chicago Bears’ plans at quarterback. The seed was planted a couple of months ago when Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the most prominent team insider, posted his first article about the quarterbacks in the 2024 draft. Yet it wasn’t about Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels. It was about JJ McCarthy of Michigan. I couldn’t help but wonder if Biggs might’ve heard some things. Like maybe the Bears like him a lot. It felt like a reach at the time, so I let it go.
Things have changed. Benjamin Allbright of KOA Colorado is one of the most accurate national insiders in the business. He delivered a surprising update that definitely added fuel to the conspiracy fires on McCarthy.
In the previous article, I illustrated why McCarthy felt like a Ryan Poles guy. He’s tough, efficient, accurate, makes good decisions, is an outstanding leader, and seems to bring his game up a level in big moments. Poles said he needs somebody who can handle playing in a passionate city like Chicago. McCarthy was born in La Grange Park, just 20 minutes outside downtown. If anybody would understand the people of Chicago, it would be him. Poles loves adding local products to the roster.
JJ McCarthy would be a gamble but a calculated one.
The primary issue evaluators have with him isn’t his mental makeup or even his talent. He’s 6’3, has good mobility, consistent accuracy, and a strong enough arm to make most throws. The problem is Michigan was a run-first offense. They didn’t let him throw a lot. Across two seasons as a starter, McCarthy threw only 654 passes. He might require a slightly longer adjustment period for the NFL before he’s ready. So if the Bears wanted to, say, keep Justin Fields for another year, then drafting McCarthy would make sense.
It is a move that would allow Poles to do both things he wants to: trade down from #1 and take a quarterback. He could deal that pick to either the Commanders (#2) or Patriots (#3) so they can get their QB of choice. Then he can select Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., whom many see as the best prospect in the class. Once done, Poles can turn around and take JJ McCarthy with the 9th pick or move up a few spots to get him. This way, the Bears feed all their masters.
- They likely get a future 1st rounder and more for moving down
- They get the best wide receiver in the class
- Fields remains the starter for 2024, improving their odds of competing for the playoffs
- They have what they feel is their long-term answer at quarterback
Yes, it’s a stretch in several areas. Even so, a lot about it makes sense.