The Minnesota Vikings saw Kirk Cousins leave in free agency for a massive contract with the Atlanta Falcons. They then selected Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy in the 2024 NFL Draft and have him pegged as the signal-caller of the future. However, McCarthy has had a difficult time getting adjusted early on in the offseason program for the Vikings.

But, while McCarthy is still trying to get his footing under him, he opened up on what lies ahead (h/t Kevin Seifert of ESPN).

“Failure is inevitable in sports. You've just got to learn from them and learn from those little dips and not be attached to them emotionally.”

Seifert added more insight into the early going for the Vikings and McCarthy: “In sum, McCarthy looked like a quarterback with the talent to be a top-10 pick but with the inexperience of a 21-year-old. In other words: Exactly what should have been expected. At times, he fit darts into small windows against aggressive coverage. On other occasions, he bounced passes to receivers with no defenders in the drill.”

Early on, it hasn't been very encouraging, but things should pick up as he gets adjusted more to the offense and the NFL-style play. Either way, the Vikings rookie is keeping a positive mindset and knows it will take time to turn things around and figure them out.

A look into the Vikings QB battle 

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) escapes a tackle by Washington Huskies defensive end Voi Tunuufi (52) during the fourth quarter in the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium.
Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

As of now, Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy are battling it out for the starting role. All signs pointed to McCarthy, especially after being taken 10th overall by the franchise. However, Kevin O'Connell had some interesting comments about the situation recently:

“I feel strongly about his ability to continue his, even at this point in his career, continue his development and what can he become within playing quarterback in our offense with the type of players we have around him, all well knowing that we're going to have a competitive environment with J.J. McCarthy, with Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall…We haven't had to put out a depth chart or anything like that, but I would say Sam would be the guy I would look to.”

The Vikings turning away from McCarthy and entering the year with Darnold under center would be quite the surprise, especially after giving Justin Jefferson a massive contract and boasting a dangerous offense. Jordan Addison and Tj Hockenson are also big-time pass catchers for the offense, so McCarthy has lots of weapons to choose from.

McCarthy is fresh off a national title win with the Michigan Wolverines but adjusting to the NFL and a totally different system is going to take some time to get used to. Even with all of the struggles, McCarthy knows this is something that happens and he has a positive mindset.

Then again, Kevin O'Connell has worked wonders with a number of quarterbacks, and there are a lot of reasons why McCarthy ended up going in the top 10 of the NFL Draft. Once he figures it out and gets it going, things should be looking very good in Minnesota.