The Minnesota Vikings selected J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick of the NFL Draft back in April, but it's looking more and more like head coach Kevin O'Connell is favoring Sam Darnold to win the starting quarterback job.

“At the quarterback position, look, we're really excited about Sam,” O'Connell said on Mad Dog Sports Radio.

O'Connell also hinted that the other quarterbacks on the Vikings' roster—including McCarthy—will be playing catch up.

“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,” O'Connell said.

This does not come as a major surprise, as many expected Darnold to actually have the inside track to the starting job when McCarthy was drafted. Obviously, Minnesota views McCarthy as its quarterback of the future, but it also does not want to rush him.

“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,” added O'Connell.

So, yeah. As of right now, Darnold is the No. 1 signal-caller on the Vikings' roster.

Sam Darnold has reached an interesting point of his career with Vikings

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) is interviewed during Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night at Allegiant Stadium.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Darnold was originally selected by the New York Jets with the third overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, so he was once in a similar spot to McCarthy.

The difference is that the Jets rushed his development, and it resulted in Darnold failing in New York. He spent three seasons with the Jets, with his best year coming in 2019 when he threw for 3,024 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions over 13 starts. Gang Green jettisoned him to the Carolina Panthers in April 2021, and Darnold also failed as a starter in two years there. He then made his way to the San Francisco 49ers as Brock Purdy's backup last year.

Now, Darnold—who signed with Minnesota in free agency—is trying to carve out a role in the NFL. Whether or not he can still develop into a capable starter remains to be seen, but, at the very least, the 27-year-old is trying to prove that he still belongs.

Darnold was viewed as a top talent coming out of USC. He showed flashes in New York, but was never able to put together a string of good performances. Perhaps the experience he had in San Francisco last season will help him moving forward.

What would be funny is if Darnold lights it up in 2024. At that point, what would the Vikings do? Would they re-sign him next offseason and stick with him as the starter? Would they try to sign him and then trade him? At the current point in time, Minnesota surely views Darnold as a bridge starter, but it will be interesting to see if that changes if Darnold ends up having a great season.