Michael Penix Jr. - QB - Washington

A 2-year starter in Washington, Penix Jr’s college career has been plagued by injuries and for many analysts, sits just outside the “Big 4” prospects at the position in this year’s draft. Managing just 18 starts in his 4 seasons in Indiana due to 2 unfortunate ACL tears, the Tennessee native saw his career come alive following a transfer to the Huskies, leading Washington to their first conference title in six years and a place in the CFP National Championship game, which they lost to fellow 2024 draftee J.J. McCarthy and his Michigan Wolverines.

Measurables

Height: 6′ 2″

Weight: 216 lbs

Age: 23

40-yard dash: DNP

3-cone drill: DNP

20-yard shuttle: DNP

Vertical Jump: DNP

Broad Jump: DNP

Bench Press: DNP

*age is at the start of player’s rookie year

College Stats

Passing Table
Passing
YearSchoolConfClassPosGCmpAttPctYdsY/AAY/ATDIntRate
2018IndianaBig TenFRQB3213461.82196.47.010125.6
*2019IndianaBig TenFRQB711016068.813948.78.8104157.6
*2020IndianaBig TenSOQB612422056.416457.57.9144136.5
2021IndianaBig TenJRQB58716253.79395.84.347101.9
*2022WashingtonPac-12JRQB1336255465.346418.48.8318151.3
*2023WashingtonPac-12SRQB1536355565.449038.89.23611157.1
CareerOverall1067168563.3137418.28.49634146.6
Indiana34257659.441977.37.12915132.0
Washington725110965.495448.69.06719154.2
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 5/27/2024.

Notable Headlines

It is difficult to discuss Penix Jr and not mention two overarching factors – his incredible arm strength and hand size…but also his chequered past of season ending injuries. Graduating as a 3-Star recruit out of Tampa Bay Technical in 2018, Penix found a home at Indiana – but his first (and subsequently every) season for the Hoosiers was cut short after only a handful of games. An ACL tear in his freshman and sophomore seasons, alongside shoulder issues in 2019 and 2021 saw Penix play only 20 games in Indiana before transferring to Seattle, Washington in his junior year. The move West proved to be a turning point for Penix who managed to make 28 consecutive starts for the Huskies, going 25-3 in his 2 seasons under centre in Washington. His 4,903 passing yards were the most in the country, and with 36 touchdowns through the air, trailed only Bo Nix (45) and Jayden Daniels (40) in scoring.

Scouting Report

Positives

It is difficult to discuss Penix Jr and not mention two overarching factors – his incredible arm strength and hand size…but also his chequered past of season ending injuries. Graduating as a 3-Star recruit out of Tampa Bay Technical in 2018, Penix found a home at Indiana – but his first (and subsequently every) season for the Hoosiers was cut short after only a handful of games. An ACL tear in his freshman and sophomore seasons, alongside shoulder issues in 2019 and 2021 saw Penix play only 20 games in Indiana before transferring to Seattle, Washington in his junior year. The move West proved to be a turning point for Penix who managed to make 28 consecutive starts for the Huskies, going 25-3 in his 2 seasons under centre in Washington. His 4,903 passing yards were the most in the country, and with 36 touchdowns through the air, trailed only Bo Nix (45) and Jayden Daniels (40) in scoring.

Negatives

Despite staying healthy for his entire tenure at Washington, the 4 season-ending injuries (the 2 ACL tears in particular) are glaring red flags for any potential pro-scout. Although Penix possesses elite deep-ball accuracy, he struggles on shorter and intermediate passing, and shows a level of inconsistency when forced out of the pocket. Struggles under pressure and questions have been raised if his output was largely a product of the Huskies elite offensive line. Penix Jr. will be 24.4 years old at the start of the 2024 NFL season, making him one of the oldest prospects at the position in the draft.

Pre Draft Analysis

Expected Draft Capital- Middle of Round 1 OR Early Round 2

Ideal Landing Spot

Penix is one of the more perplexing prospects entering the draft. It seems unlikely he will be taken ahead of the Tier 2 quarterbacks – Jayden Daniels, J.J. McCarthy and Drake Maye – making Denver or Las Vegas likely landing spots at the 1.12 or 1.13. The Raiders are the bookmakers’ choice to select the 2023 Maxwell Award winner but to do so I think they’ll have to leapfrog the Broncos who pick immediately before them – however, if Penix and Bo Nix are still on the board entering the double digit picks in round 1, expect Penix’s name to be called on Day 2 instead. Regardless when he is selected, I have Penix swapping the purple of Washington for the Black and Silver of Las Vegas, giving Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers a QB who can really air it out.

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