NFL Draft season is in full swing, and all eyes are turned towards the quarterbacks expected to be taken at the top of the 2024 draft — and how quickly teams will look for quarterbacks after the seeming top tier of quarterbacks are off the board.

The consensus top quarterback and top overall player in the 2024 NFL Draft class, Caleb Williams, is the overwhelming favorite to go No. 1 overall to the Chicago Bears. But what about after that? Colin Cowherd examined the next four quarterbacks expected to come off the board after Williams and gave his best team fits for each signal-caller.

BColin’s best landing spots for Drake Maye, Michael Penix, JJ McCarthy | The Herd

Here’s who Cowherd believes would be the best fits between player and team, with some additional commentary on J.J. McCarthy from FOX Sports college football analyst Brock Huard, who covered McCarthy at Michigan during the latter’s 2023 national championship season with the Wolverines.

Jayden Daniels, LSU
Cowherd’s best team fit: Washington Commanders (No. 2 overall pick)

Cowherd’s thoughts: “He’s played out west [at Arizona State]. He’s played in the SEC. Now he goes to the northeast. He gets an experienced playcaller with Kliff Kingsbury who’s had quarterbacks that move — [Patrick] Mahomes and Kyler Murray. … They’ve got cap space. They will shore up some of their issues. They’ve already got good weapons who have been in the league. Terry McLaurin’s obviously very good. His coordinator has coached similar style players, and I think Kingsbury is telling [head coach] Dan Quinn that — ‘I’ve had this quarterback before.'”

Drake Maye, North Carolina
Cowherd’s best team fit: New York Giants (No. 6 overall pick)

Cowherd’s thoughts: “[If] he drops, I think the Giants would be perfect. Maye has a relationship with Eli Manning. We know [head coach] Brian Daboll has had a quarterback who’s tall and moves, but needs refinement — Josh Allen — tall, ineffiecient, sort of hot-and-cold, but man, it’s hard to take your eyes off him. He wouldn’t have to play right away in a big, major No. 1 media market — New York.”

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan
Cowherd’s best team fit: Minnesota Vikings (No. 11 overall pick)

Cowherd’s thoughts: “Much cheaper version of Kirk Cousins wth more athletic ability. The team’s got an offensive head coach, this would allow them — with a cheaper option at quarterback — to retain Justin Jefferson, and they have Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson. Those are good weapons, plus a great left tackle [Christian Darrisaw]. In that division, you’ve got to score points. Kirk Cousins is coming off an [achilles] surgery.”

Huard’s thoughts: “I know my buddy Joel Klatt, he’s enamored with [McCarthy]. I know that I’m enamored with him. … When we had Michigan-Nebraska this year, and we sat in a production meeting with J.J. McCarthy, and he left the room, and [our crew] looked at me and went, ‘Wow. That dude is just — how do you not love that guy and not want to play for that guy and with that guy?’ He was magnetic. I watched the combine. I didn’t just watch these guys throw, I try to watch for the interaction. As much as those GMs and those scouts and those coaches sitting up there in the stands, that’s what they’re watching too. They’ve got their stopwatches, but they’re watching, ‘Hey, how does this guy interact?’ 

[McCarthy] reminded me of Donovan McNabb in 1999. I went to the combine, it was a year very similar to this year’s draft. There was Daunte Culpepper, there was Cade McNown, there was Akili Smith, there was Donovan McNabb, there was Tim Couch, there was Shaun King, I ended up being the seventh [quarterback] drafted in the third round. But I remember being at that combine and watching Donovan with the guys. And the guy, he was just a magnet. They wanted to be around him. He didn’t throw the most beautiful, and he wasn’t the most natural passer, but he was a winner. Dudes loved him. They gravitated towards him. I watched J.J. stay on the field, cheering guys on. … I don’t think there’s any shot in the world he goes where you had him [at No. 11.] I think he’s going to go higher than that.

Why JJ McCarthy will be a Top 10 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft

Bo Nix, Oregon
Cowherd’s best team fit: Denver Broncos (No. 12 overall pick)

Cowherd’s thoughts: I think he’s an excellent fit with Sean Payton. He has 61 college starts. Sean Payton needs to win now, he’s not here to teach you how to play quarterback. Bo Nix has a record number of starts between Auburn and Oregon. He’s ready to play. His ceiling may be lower, but his floor could be higher. Peyton wants a quarterback who follows his play design. That’s exactly what Oregon did with Bo Nix. I saw him live twice — they designed [the plays], he hit them. Very, very accurate. They have Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Javonte Williams, and an offensive coach. To me, [Nix’s] comp is a little [bit of] Drew Brees with mobility.”

Michael Penix, Washington
Cowherd’s best team fit: Seattle Seahawks (No. 16 overall pick)

Cowherd’s thoughts: “Some would say he’s being overdrafted, but Geno Smith is guaranteed no money next year. The Seahawks’ offensive coordinator is Ryan Grubb, that was Penix’s offensive coordinator at Washington. He doesn’t have to move out of the Pacific Northwest. [Seattle has] DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and a good left tackle, Charles Cross, and excellent young running backs. It won’t be pass-dependant.”

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