NFL Hot Press: Penix in Play for Raiders

Michael Penix

In the month of April, there has been a lot of buzz about the Las Vegas Raiders targeting Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the 2024 NFL Draft. With new general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Antonio Pierce taking over, Las Vegas could start its re-build with a new franchise quarterback after a disastrous run by former head coach Josh McDaniels. Multiple team sources told that Penix is definitely in the running to be taken by the Raiders early in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Sources said Penix could be in play for Las Vegas with its first-round pick, No. 13 overall. However, the Raiders could also take a non-quarterback in the first round and look to move up from their second-round pick for Penix. Las Vegas has needs at cornerback and offensive tackle, so the franchise could look to select a player at one of those positions and then move back up for Penix. The Raiders like a lot of the offensive linemen who could be available at No. 13. That group includes Alabama right tackle J.C. Latham, Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu, Oregon State right tackle Taliese Fuaga and Washington offensive tackle Troy Fautanu. Las Vegas also really likes Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell. Right now, it sounds as if the more likely plan is to acquire Penix rather than taking Mitchell or one of those tackles at with the 13th choice of the 2024 NFL Draft.

However, plans are being held very close to the vest with the Raiders, and the only people who will truly know the pick are Telesco, Pierce, and owner Mark Davis. When Telesco was general manager of the Chargers, he was notorious for not speaking with his scouts and keeping them removed from the organization. That being said, the Raiders know that in a division with the Chiefs’ Pat Mahomes and the Chargers’ Justin Herbert they are going to need a quarterback who is capable of putting up big point totals. Penix did that in Washington and has deep-ball talent with big-play ability that is said to intrigue Pierce in particular. Last season, Penix hadsome games late in the year where he showed shaky accuracy and inconsistency, but Herbert also turned in some underwhelming tapes in his final college season at Oregon and Telesco was unfazed to make Herbert a top-10 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Gardner Minshew II and Aidan O’Connell are in-house for the Raiders to let a rookie develop, but Minshew and O’Connell are not viewed as the long-term franchise quarterbacks.

Thus, sources said that Penix is definitely in play for the Raiders. Las Vegas could consider him in the first round, but moving up from the team’s second-round pick for Penix is also a consideration. However, those thoughts could end up being killed by Davis, Telesco and Pierce. In my latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft, I have the Raiders turning in their card for Penix.