Insider on Broncos trading for JJ McCarthy: ‘Everything is on the table’

NFL NetworkDaniel Jeremiah cannot be accused of jumping on the JJ McCarthy bandwagon out of convenience. Early in the preliminary evaluations, Jeremiah wasn’t shy about predicting how the Michigan passer would rush forward, and so it’s proven true.

Where McCarthy ultimately ends up is a mystery that won’t be solved until April 25, but Jeremiah is confident the 21-year-old won’t slip past the Denver Broncos at No. 12 overall.

“If you tell me JJ McCarthy goes beyond the 12th pick, I would be shocked,” Jeremiah said, via

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Depending on who decides to draft McCarthy (perhaps much sooner than 12), his top candidates could ultimately come down to a competition between the Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings. Of course, the Vikings have more draft capital (including two first-round picks) and also happen to pick one spot ahead of the Broncos at No. 11, which will likely make the difference when it comes to drafting McCarthy.

Moreover, according to Jeremiah, the Vikings meet all the requirements for McCarthy.

“I would say if they gave truth serum to the quarterbacks and the agents of all the top guys, they would all say they would love nothing more than to go to the Minnesota Vikings,” Jeremiah said. “That would be the No. 1 pick. Of all these teams that are quarterback teams … that’s by far the best landing spot for any quarterback. It’s all settled, based on the things we talk about with the three ‘P’s ‘ – with the playcaller, the protection, the playmakers.

While it may seem like McCarthy is just out of reach for Denver, this isn’t exactly a doomsday scenario, according to Jeremiah. Ever since head coach Sean Payton landed in Denver, the belief around the NFL has been that something tangible is on the horizon.

“Look, it’s not the Vikings, but look, I think it’s set up functionally,” Jeremiah said. “You’re looking at having the offensive mind/play caller there while Sean (Payton) and (Joe) Lombardi have been together forever. I’ll put it this way. I think it’s set up to be sustainable. You’re going to win the game Don’t screw up the quarterback by throwing him out there with that group now.”

Unfortunately, the Broncos are not in a position to sway opinions during this unique recruiting process. The framework of the draft dictates that if the Broncos truly covet McCarthy above all else, they need to take a lead.

That would mean selling the farm, so to speak, as it involves giving up future first-round draft picks, which are necessary building blocks for rebuilding the NFL. Then comes the more nuclear option, where Payton and corporate package Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Surtain II, along with first-round draft capital, would skip the Vikings at the last minute.

Jeremiah sees that the concept always presents different permutations and scenarios that somehow just work – even if they sometimes seem beyond the realm of believability.

“Everything is on the table,” Jeremiah said of the Broncos and Vikings. “Whether it’s a trade to 4, 5 or not, whether it’s a trade of just a few spots, or whether those teams hold out, I think all of those options are in play.”

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