NFC Notes: J.J. McCarthy, Penei Sewell, Lions, Panthers, Vikings

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Lions

After receiving his extension on the same day as WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions OT Penei Sewell said it’s both of their goals to win a Super Bowl next season. 

“We need it all,” Sewell said, via the Detroit Free Press. “I had a conversation with (St. Brown) after we found out that we were getting the contracts and going to sign, that’s our goal is to host that trophy at the end of the day and to just do that. Just to win, bro. There’s nothing else to it. All those individual accolades don’t mean nothing. I want the big boy and I want it now.”

Panthers

The Panthers acquired 2024 third-round LB Trevin Wallace in the draft to bolster the middle of their defense. Carolina GM Dan Morgan was asked if Wallace would take over for LB Shaq Thompson when they go their separate ways. 

“I don’t know if it’s like Shaq’s successor,” Morgan said, via Anthony Rizzuti of the Panthers Wire. “Shaq’s played at a high level for a long time. Obviously, we think a lot of Shaq, we think a lot of Josey [Jewell]. We’re really excited about those guys.”

“I just want Trevin to come in here—and I think Dave would say the same thing—come in here, learn, compete, earn the respect of these veterans out there. I think that’s the main thing just coming in as a rookie—just growing, getting behind the right veteran leadership, just kinda find his way.”

Vikings

Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell shared what appealed to him about QB J.J. McCarthy, who was a bit of a polarizing evaluation for people this draft cycle. 

“This guy is comfortable playing quarterback in an offense where they did run the football. There was high-quality performance in the play-pass world. His athletic ability showed up. His overall arm strength and accuracy showed up,” O’Connell said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “Then, going back and really siloing third down, red zone, those significant downs where the quarterback play is such a driving force in success; that’s where I started to see some things with J.J. that got me really excited. He made plays in drop-back situations. He handled the rush, both within the pocket and scrambling. Box checked.”

The Vikings also went out to Ann Arbor to have an extensive private workout with McCarthy, and O’Connell added the quarterback impressed the search party with how he conducted himself at lunch around students and fans. 

“If you’re going to draft a quarterback you hope is one of the faces of your franchise — and there’s no real evaluation to that — there’s a lot of positives that can come out of it watching them in that setting. J.J. was absolutely that. … I left campus that day thinking that we could build around J.J. McCarthy.”

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