2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Michael Penix Jr.




  • Michael Penix Jr., 6-3/214
  • Quarterback
  • Washington

Michael Penix Jr. Scouting Report

By Charlie Campbell

Strengths:

  • Strong arm
  • Very skilled at back-shoulder throws downfield
  • Protects the football
  • Can throw receivers open
  • Has accuracy at times
  • Ball placement is good at times
  • Shows good timing
  • Able to loft in touch passes
  • Will use his feet when needed
  • Sneaky ability to pick up yards on the ground
  • Quality size
  • Strong build
  • Hard worker
  • Lots of experience
  • Leader

Weaknesses:

  • Inconsistent accuracy
  • Will have passes with poor ball placement
  • Can struggle to throw well in the face of the rush
  • Poor footwork
  • Feet need development
  • Misses some easy passes
  • Some NFL coaches don’t like left-handed quarterbacks
  • Field-vision problems
  • Either doesn’t read coverage, or pre-determines a lot of throws
  • Must improve working through progressions
  • History of injuries
  • Multiple shoulder injuries
  • Multiple ACL tears

Prospect Summary:

Out of high school in Tampa, Florida, Penix landed at Indiana. He was then with the Hoosiers for four seasons. He tore his ACL in October of his freshman year. Penix returned the next season before going out for the year with a sternoclavicular joint injury to his right shoulder. In 2020, Penix suffered a second ACL tear. He then had a joint separation in his left – throwing – shoulder in 2021. After that fourth season, Penix transferred out of Indiana.

Penix broke out for Washington in 2022. He almost tripled his previous season-high passing-yards total of 1,645 yards from 2020, completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 4,641 yards, 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for four touchdowns. In 2023, Penix picked up where he left off with a red hot start to the season. Penix did not play as well down the stretch, but there is talk that he was playing with an injury that was impacting his accuracy. In the playoff game against the Longhorns, Penix was very good, ripping up the Texas secondary. However, he had an ugly game in the National Championship, missing wide-open receivers with inaccurate throws and failing to scan the field well, which saw him miss a number of open wideouts for big plays. Penix really struggled with the pass rush from Michigan, and the Wolverines cruised to winning the title match. Penix completed 65 percent of his passes in 2023 for 4,903 yards, 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He notched three rushing touchdowns as well.

On the positive side, Penix has a quality arm, and when he is on he can light up a defense. Penix is a threat to push the ball downfield, and he is very skilled at throwing back-shoulder sideline passes. When Penix is playing well, he is lethal along the deep sideline and lofts in some beauties. Penix puts air underneath his passes and will drop in very catchable passes.

Penix also shows the ability to function in the quick passing game in the short part of the field, firing some quick bullets into smaller windows to move the ball. Penix is a patient passer who will allow routes to develop, and he doesn’t panic when he has to hold the ball. Penix also has some functional mobility to dodge the rush and pick up some yards on the ground. He has quality size and a sturdy build for the next level.

Penix possesses good intangibles as well. There is no doubt that he is a tough leader who will play hurt and offers his team everything he has. He faced adversity in his collegiate career and fought hard to put his team in the college football playoff.

On the negative side, Penix showed ball-placement flaws in the back half of the 2023 season. He can have issues passing in the face of the rush, which causes him to have some passes off the mark when he is thrown off rhythm. Penix needs to improve his mechanics. His footwork needs a lot of development for the pro game, and errant footwork leads to Penix having passes spray off the mark. He needs to improve his feet and accuracy significantly to be an effective starter at the pro level.

Another big area in which Penix needs improvement is field vision. Sources say one of things that concerns them is Penix is either not reading coverage, or he is just throwing into it anyway because he predetermined where he was passing the ball. That is a big problem for the NFL, as it will lead to interceptions versus pro defenses. Penix also had issues when teams dropped large numbers in coverage and only rushed him with three or four. Taking away easy throws caused problems for Penix. For the next level, Penix is going to have do significant work in developing field vision, working through progressions, and making the right decision on where to pass the ball. Washington’s college offense is very basic compared to what Penix will be running as a pro.

For the NFL, Penix looks like more of a backup to start out his career. He has a quality skill set, so he has the potential to grow into being a starter. Multiple NFL team sources have projected Penix to be a second-day or mid-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Some sources said they had Penix graded on the bubble between being a backup or a player with starting potential.

Prospect Comparison:

Josh Dobbs. Penix reminds me of Dobbs. Both can be inconsistent passers who are playmakers when they are on their game and struggle when they are off. Both Penix and Dobbs have some athleticism and running ability. Dobbs was a mid-round pick to be a backup, and Penix could start out his pro career in a similar manner. Some NFL team sources said Penix is similar to Hendon Hooker at Tennessee, but Penix is left-handed and not as accurate as Hooker was in college.





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