George Paton, Broncos set to meet with Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

Feb 27, 2024, 11:33 AM

INDIANAPOLIS — J.J. McCarthy, you’re up.

The Michigan quarterback — who piloted his Wolverines to the national championship last month — will interview with the Denver Broncos at the NFL Combine, general manager George Paton confirmed during a press conference Tuesday morning inside the Indiana Convention Center.

“He’s a good player, just like seven or eight other of the quarterbacks,” Paton said Tuesday. “We’re still working through the process.

“Obviously, he’s a winner; he’s won a lot. He has talent. So, I look forward to spending time with him — I think tonight.”

For Paton and the scouting side of the Broncos’ complement at the NFL Combine, meeting with J.J. McCarthy is another step in the process that has been stewing for months.

“You just want to get around them as much as you can,” Paton said. “I was fortunate to see a lot of these quarterbacks during the fall, and that’s one step of the process. And then you have the all-star games and then you have the Combine, and then you have Pro Days, and maybe private workouts, so, as much as you can get around them and see what makes them tick.

“You know, Sean (Payton) talked about leadership. What’s the day-to-day like? What do their teammates feel about them? You can evaluate the arm strength, the accuracy, the athleticism, being able to process is a little more difficult. But I think the more you can get around them, the better decisions you’ll make.”

Payton — who reportedly likes what he has already seen in McCarthy — concurred.

“So the question in our interactions, meetings with quarterbacks here, what’s important. I think all of it. The first thing is getting to put a name with a face and it’s the first personal visit where you’re like, ‘Nice to meet you.’ And then you’ll spend time with the questions and it will be football related. And they’ll be follow-up meetings, pro day visits, private workout visits and so these are like pieces of the equation that I think are necessary,” Payton said.

“Obviously, the beginning of this event was to combine medical information. Hence the term combine. And then pretty soon, “Let’s run a 40 and let’s run a few of these cone drills. Let’s have these meetings.’ But the interactions in the meetings are important because it is important for a lot of us, the scouts maybe not so much, but for a lot of us it’s the first time we’re getting introduced to a prospect and so not just a quarterback but the other positions. And I think that first impression is important.”

Tuesday night, J.J. McCarthy gets his chance to make that impression.

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