QB Michael Penix Jr. Schedules Five Visits

With pre-draft visits in full swing, Michael Penix Jr. is one of several quarterbacks set to take a number of ‘top 30’ visits with interested teams. Details on his immediate future have emerged in the wake of his Pro Day.

Penix is set to meet with the Giants, Falcons, Raiders, Broncos and Steelers, per ESPN’s Brady Henderson. New York, Las Vegas and Denver have been among the teams most closely connected with selecting a passer during next month’s draft. The inclusion of Atlanta and Pittsburgh on that list is certainly noteworthy, however.

The Falcons made perhaps the most impactful move of free agency by signing Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180MM deal. That move sets the team up with a proven quarterback relative to its other post-Matt Ryan options (albeit one which is aging and coming off an Achilles tear). A long-term investment in a developmental passer would be reasonable, but such a move would likely come after the Falcons’ top pick.

Atlanta is set to select eighth overall, and edge rush remains a notable roster hole at the moment. For that reason, many mocks have linked the team to Alabama’s Dallas Turner, largely regarded as the top member of the 2024 pass rush class. The Falcons’ next selection is No. 43; Penix could very well be off the board by that point, leaving them in search of another Day 2 or 3 QB option.

The Steelers have completely re-built their quarterback room, signing Russell Wilson and trading for Justin Fields. The former is set to operate as the starter for 2024, but the latter profiles as the passer with a higher upside over the long term given his age. Both Wilson and Fields are only on the books for one season (provided Fields’ fifth-year option is declined this spring), though the team is believed to have interest in retaining each of them beyond 2024.

Pittsburgh owns the No. 20 pick, which could fall within the early portion of Penix’s range (depending in large part, of course, on where the QBs rated above him are selected). Adding the 2023 Heisman runner-up would give the Steelers an intriguing third option on the depth chart but it would likely prove to be redundant in at least the short term with Wilson and Fields in the fold.

Penix profiles as a wild card in the 2024 quarterback class, having enjoyed a successful stint with Washington which was punctuated by a trip to the national title game. Concerns over his age and lengthy injury history – including two ACL tears – will hurt his draft stock compared to the passers slated to be selected in the top five, but the strong athletic performance he delivered at his Pro Day could certainly help in that regard. Ultimately, Penix’s visits will be a strong determining factor in his eventual landing spots, and several teams will remain worth monitoring as potential destinations.

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