The NFL draft decision of J.J. McCarthy looms large here. If McCarthy decides to stay at Michigan for another season, the Wolverines won’t even need a portal quarterback.
Top-100 quarterback Jadyn Davis is expected to sign and he’s the quarterback of the future. However, it’s hard to see Michigan football entrusting him to start next season.
At the very least, Davis will need to earn it, which means bringing in someone like Will Howard.
The biggest disadvantage for Michigan might be timing. All these other QB-needy teams are going to push for Howard immediately and throw out their NIL deals, which isn’t a strength of Michigan anyway. Michigan might not know McCarthy’s intentions until late January, depending on what happens this weekend and beyond.
Yet, if Howard truly wants to play for a winner, Michigan football might be his best chance. He’s an accurate passer and surely, playing for Jim Harbaugh would improve his draft stock — just ask Jake Rudock.
Rudock transferred from Iowa as a graduate and thrived for Michigan in 2015, which led to him getting drafted in the sixth round. Howard’s draft stock could improve and he would have some nice weapons including tight end Colston Loveland and possibly Donovan Edwards.
Michigan does graduate a couple of wideouts, but there are some talented youngsters coming up such as Tyler Morris, Semaj Morgan, and Darrius Clemons. The offensive line is stout and there are few teams better to play for than Michigan as a play-action quarterback.
Howard’s running element would also help the Wolverines replace all the things McCarthy does well for them.
There is a narrative that Michigan football is graduating a ton of players. It’s true the Wolverines are, but there will be plenty of NFL-caliber players coming back and if McCarthy doesn’t return, it will be a great landing spot for some transfer portal quarterback, maybe even Will Howard.