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2023 NFL Draft

Is Michael Penix Jr For Real?

I’m not going to jump on the Michael Penix for 1st round consideration train at this time (some maybe). I will say that Penix, a player I was impressed with before injuries at Indiana, is looking the part of a NFL prospect. He’s already passed his career highs in passing yards, as well as passing touchdowns (Thanks ESPN). 

So, again I pose the question, is Michael Penix Jr for real?

Michael Penix Jr – The Good

Penix has the proto-typical quarterback size, 6’3″, and around 215 pounds. He’s handled adversity like a champ (See all the injury history here), and he still keeps fighting. With what he’s had to endure, I’d say he’s got the grit and determination teams will love.  

The 2022 Huskies are a fairly balanced squad, with 160 combined rushing attempts, and 201 passing attempts thus far. So it’s not like Penix is just airing it out all day, they are trying to keep teams honest. A huge plus is the experience brought from Indiana, he played some good ball against strong Big Ten teams.

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. rolls out of the pocket during the Spring Preview game on April 30 in Seattle. (Jennifer Buchanan/Seattle Times)
Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. rolls out of the pocket during the Spring Preview game on April 30 in Seattle. (Jennifer Buchanan/Seattle Times)[/media-credit] Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. rolls out of the pocket during the Spring Preview game on April 30 in Seattle. (Jennifer Buchanan/Seattle Times) Jennifer Buchanan

He brings good arm strength, the ability to hit out routes, and deep shots with good zip. As a Lions fan, watching Goff struggling with some of these same passes that Penix can do (with relative ease), makes me sad. Some examples of these pass types can be found throughout the season, here’s a sample.

I love to watch Penix navigate the pocket, I don’t often see antsy feet, which is an important trait! If you look back to that Kent State game, which isn’t a great example because it’s Kent State, he takes his time and doesn’t get in a hurry to escape the pocket.

Penix has been smart with the football throughout his career, throwing 18 interceptions over 767 passing attempts. Penix does a good job putting the ball where only his receiver can get it, not perfect but solid placement.

Michael Penix Jr – The Not-So-Good

I tend to be a glass-half-full guy, so until a career is over, there’s always time to improve. With Penix, I see enough juice that he could take some more chances running the ball, something we haven’t seen much. Because he manages the pocket pretty well, he could easily get more rushing yardage. The reason I bring this up is in this new age of NFL quarterback, rushing is something teams look more for. Let me correct that, a lot of teams look for that, there are some teams that lean on the pocket passer.

I’m no QB Guru, I will say there are times watching his mechanics I feel like there’s something missing. He can make good throws without his feet set (See Stanford Tape), just see room to grow. Saying that there’s still a lot to like about his willingness to let it rip

[/media-credit] Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) scrambles against Michigan State during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis) AP

So Do I Think He’s For Real?

Because I’ve seen him beating up on the big ten in his Indiana days, I want to say yes. The reality is, he will get looks from the NFL, whenever he chooses to enter. Because there aren’t enough sure things at quarterback, he should have teams taking a long look at this resilient QB from Tampa, Florida.

If I had to take a stand today, he’s a day 3 prospect in the 23′ Draft, with a chance to push for day 2 consideration if he stays healthy and keeps up this pace. Washington’s produced plenty of NFL quarterbacks, so it’s not like he’s trying to come from a small school. The injury history will be a concern but it’s mostly been different injuries (other than 2 ACLs).

Love the story, love the player, love the ability, excited to see more from Michael Penix Jr!

Any questions or just want to keep the conversation going, hit me up on Twitter Feel free to @ me or DM me and we can talk more about him and the rest of the 2023 NFL Draft, and don’t forget to check out our Mock Draft’s here on Draft Countdown!

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