5 dark horse quarterbacks who could replace Ridder, Heinicke in 2024

The Falcons need a change at quarterback, but an unorthodox route might not be out of the question.
Atlanta Falcons, Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke
Atlanta Falcons, Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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5. J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

Finally, we look at one more Day 2 type of quarterback the Falcons could snag in the draft next spring. Michigan's J.J. McCarthy has led his Wolverines to a perfect 10-0 record to this point and looks every bit of an NFL arm. He can make a lot of the throws you want a quarterback to make at this level, and throws with the zip and touch that cannot be taught.

So far in 2023, McCarthy has thrown for 2,193 yards, 18 touchdowns and only three picks. He has done more than enough to win games for the Wolverines, who have also been a strong rushing team this year, putting up over 170 yards per game on the ground.

At 6-foot-3, McCarthy has ideal NFL size but is a little on the lighter side. Adding a bit of weight could help McCarthy going forward, but in terms of his raw skills, he has a lot to like. This would be a prime example of the Falcons giving Ridder some legitimate competition and watching the two of them battle it out in training camp.