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Michael Penix Jr.

Michael Penix Jr. (QB) – Washington / Senior (6th year)

6’3”, 218 Lbs. (Unofficial) 

2023 Stats:* 14 games, 336 completions, 504 attempts, 66.7 completion percentage, 4648 passing yards, 9.2 yards per attempt, 35 passing TDs, 9 INTs, 163.5 Rate.  

{Reference: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/michael-penix-jr-1.html}

Awards: 2023 Maxwell Award, 2nd in the 2023 Heisman Trophy voting, #1 passing yards (2023 NCAA), #3 passing TDs (2023 NCAA), #3 pass attempts (2023 NCAA), #3 pass completions (2023 NCAA)

Measurables: (Available post-combine/pro day)

RAS: (Available post-combine/pro day)

Games Watched: 2023 @ Michigan State; 2023 @ USC; 2023 vs. Oregon (Pac-12 Title Game); 2023 vs. Texas (Sugar Bowl)

PRO’S 

When completely health his final playing at Washington his final 2 seasons (out of 6) in the NCAA, Penix shined as a pocket passer as he led the Huskies to two very good seasons, including the 2024 National Championship Game (for the 2023 season).  One of the best in NCAA in understanding what the Defense wants to do, pre-snap, Penix is able to deliver a nice, catchable, ball through very tight windows.  He’s got big-time play at big-time moments in him — he doesn’t shrink in crunch time, under the big lights.  When the defense allows, he is very good at hitting his WRs in stride with really nice touch, giving them a chance to make a catch, and to make YAC.  A seemingly very very smart QB, and I assume NFL HCs and OCs are going to love talking offense with him in interviews.  Not a mobile QB, but he has the pocket awareness and manipulation to buy more time.  Savvy player.

CON’S

History of injuries jumps out.  6 years in NCAA with 4 years at Indiana and then 2 at Washington, he did not even play more than 7 games until his first season as a Huskie (when he played 13 games).  Each season at Indiana ended in injury including two ACL tears.  That being said, he played every game his 2 seasons at Washington.  Will be 24 by the start of the 2024 season.  Average arm strength, but not poor, and his quick processing pretty much mitigates this.  Pure pocket-passer…which doesn’t bother me but today’s NFL gravitates towards dual-threat QBs so it may limit interests by teams until past the 1st round.  Will have to rely on his quick processing and accuracy in the NFL because his lack of big time arm strength and being that he’s not a running QB will probably limit his ceiling, even though I see him as a legit, potential, long-term starter.

OVERALL 

Penix showed a lot at Washington, especially in 2023 as he led his team to the National Championship game, but his age and 6-years playing college football worries me that it’s his overall college-game experience shining out above the 18 and 19-year olds in the league who he’s often going against.  His game reminds me a lot of Alex Smith — quick processor, accurate, not the strongest of arms.  His upside is very nice, however, while I came into studying him as thinking he was a top-10 lock, I’m thinking I’d be more comfortable with him in the later 1st.  If I’m a team that needs a QB and Caleb, Maye, and Daniels are off the board and I don’t have to trade up to get him then I’d be cool with Penix in the top-10, but his lack of a big time arm combined with being a pure pocket-passer worries me.  As well as his age and history of injury, but if I’m not trading up for him then I think I think he’s probably very coachable and has a real chance to be a long time, very capable starter (although probably never elite).  I’d LOVE to see him drafted to a dome team where I think he’d succeed the most (looking at you Atlanta and New Orleans).  

* Penix’s stats are pre-National Championship Game as of this posting.

Completed by: Joe Knows (@JoeJ_Clark), 01/07/24

 

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