Why teams are sleeping on QB Michael Penix Jr. in the 2024 NFL Draft

Hunter Haas
Michael Penix Jr. is one of the best quarterback prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft. So, why isn’t he receiving the same hype as his peers?

The 2024 NFL Draft boasts the best quarterback class in years. But fans and scouts are still sleeping on Michael Penix Jr.

Caleb Williams headlines a stacked group of quarterbacks, as the USC product is the front-runner to go number one overall to the Chicago Bears.

Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and J.J. McCarthy have top-10 hype heading into the 2024 NFL Draft, with all three projected to go early in the first round.

Michael Penix Jr. deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as these quarterbacks, but scouts and fans are currently sleeping on the Washington Husky standout.

Where should Michael Penix Jr. be drafted?

There are quite a few reasons as to why many NFL teams aren’t considering Penix among the elite QB prospects this year, but there are also compelling reasons why he warrants a first-round grade.

Penix shines in college

Penix Jr. began his collegiate career at Indiana before transferring to Washington and transforming himself into a Heisman Trophy contender.

In two seasons with Washington, Penix Jr. completed 65.4 percent of his passes, logged more than 9,500 passing yards, and compiled 67 passing touchdowns.

His most recent showing in 2023 led to a runner-up finish in the Heisman Trophy voting and culminated in a National Championship appearance with his Huskies.

Red flags for Penix

Scouts have spoken extensively about Penix Jr. and his lengthy injury history as the primary cause for concern in his NFL Draft profile.

He suffered a season-ending injury all four years with Indiana, including two ACL tears, but remained relatively healthy after hitting the transfer portal.

The left-handed Penix Jr. flashes some wonky mechanics on tape. His throwing motion is awkward, and he rarely uses the lower half of his body when throwing.

The final knock is his age, as Penix Jr. will be a 24-year-old rookie in his first NFL season. For reference, reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud won’t turn 24 until his third year in the league.

The good outweighs the bad with Penix

Although the red flags are present, Penix Jr. has the talent and track record to overcome these concerns.

Penix Jr. flexes the strongest arm in the 2024 NFL Draft. He effortlessly slings the ball from sideline to sideline and has no issue hitting deep shots downfield.

Furthermore, Penix Jr. has consistently shown up in the most clutch moments for his squad, engineering multiple fourth-quarter comebacks as a starter.

Penix Jr. can also shred defenses with his deceptive mobility, evidenced by a reported 4.46 40-yard dash time at his Washington Huskies Pro Day workout.

The fireballer shows remarkable accuracy, more often than not. His ball placement on passes down the sideline is particularly exceptional.

Penix Jr. may catch flack for his age, but with that comes invaluable experience. He suited up as quarterback 49 times with Indiana and Washington.

2024 NFL Draft projection for Penix

In my estimation, the good outweighs the bad with Penix He has the arm talent and experience to step in and start immediately on Sundays.

Michael Penix Jr. is projected as the fifth quarterback off the board in most mock drafts. But his viability as a first-round prospect continues to be a heated debate amongst scouts and fans.

All it takes is one team to fall head over heels for Penix at the 2024 NFL Draft. Whoever selects him, whether it’s later in the first round or early in round two, will be landing the steal of the draft.

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