NFL reporter reveals ‘wide open’ Michael Penix draft projection ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

Michael Penix Jr draft projection
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was one of the best quarterbacks in college football over the last two seasons, boasting a resume that caught a lot of attention from NFL scouts and coaches. However, the draft projection for Penix Jr. ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft appears to be complicated.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Penix Jr. has prototypical size at is position with a track record of outstanding production and wins at Washington. He also demonstrated surprising athleticism at the Huskies’ Pro Day – 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash – which pairs with outstanding arm strength.

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  • Michael Penix Jr stats (career): 13,741 passing yards, 146.6 QB rating, 96-34 TD-INT, 63.3% completion rate, 8.2 yards per attempt, 265 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns

For NFL coaches, Penix Jr. checks off important boxes in the evaluation process with his physical tools, maturity, experience, leadership and decision-making. However, there’s a significant split in the evaluation of the quarterback between coaches and scouts.

Penix Jr. also has quite a few concerns on his scouting report. Even beyond his injury history and age, the former Huskies’ quarterback benefitted from having NFL-caliber receivers against college competition and his efficiency plummeted when pressured or forced to throw on the move.

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In a recent mailbag for Sports Illustrated, NFL insider Albert Breer was asked if there’s a chance Penix Jr. falls to Round 2. He indicated that it is within the “range of outcome” with NFL Draft projections on the Huskies’ quarterback ranging from just outside the top 10 picks to the possibility of being a second-round selection.

“I think the range of outcomes for Penix on draft weekend is wide open…So I’m fascinated to see where he lands. I’d say the ceiling is, maybe, just outside of the top 10 to a team like the Las Vegas Raiders, with the possibility he slips out of the first round.”

Albert Breer on quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

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Medical issues are arguably the biggest concern for NFL teams. Penix Jr. suffered three season-ending injuries in college, including two ACL tears. He’s already been dinged up before turning pro, which doesn’t bode well for his longevity. Furthermore, Penix Jr. will be the same age as a rookie (24) as Trevor Lawrence next season.

The benefit of the fifth-year team option on a starting quarterback, which is only available for teams with first-round picks, could ultimately keep Penix Jr. in Round 1. However, it’s evident he has one of the widest draft ranges among the most well-known players in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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