Latest On Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.’s Draft Stock

Throughout the pre-draft process, there’s been a general consensus that the top tier of quarterback prospects consists of USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye, and LSU’s Jayden Daniels. While Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy has recently climbed up the draft boards, it sounds like a fifth signal caller has drawn increased attention of NFL evaluators.

Albert Breer of TheMMQB recently passed along that some NFL coaches have Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. listed above some of “the presumed top guys.” In fact, one anonymous NFL offensive coach declared Penix as his “No. 2 guy” at the position.

“I love Penix,” the coach told Breer. “He’s a stud, a born leader, calm and collected and in a genuine way. He’s a baller. He turns it loose, can throw it into tight windows. He stands in the pocket, lets plays develop, takes hits, throws it down the field. He’s just a winner.”

As Breer details, there are a handful of reasons why Penix has started to climb up the draft boards. Primarily, Penix’s rise could be attributed to coaches being inserted into the draft conversation. Scouts weren’t as high on the Washington prospect, criticizing the player’s “sometimes-scattershot accuracy underneath.” Coaches, however, have been more focused on Penix’s skills, including deep-ball accuracy that Breer describes as “off the charts.”

Penix also helped his draft stock with a strong pro day. His 4.5-second 40-yard dash time certainly warranted attention, with the unexpected speed being a nice revelation besides Penix’s lauded arm strength. In meetings with teams, the QB has come off “as humble, confident, and introspective,” per Breer, only improving coaches’ confidence in the prospect.

The quarterback’s health updates have also helped. Despite suffering four season-ending injuries during his time in college, Penix’s “medical evaluations did get a thumbs up,” per Bruce Feldman of The Athletic. Teams will surely still be wary of Penix and his health, but they now might be a bit more comfortable with improving his spot on the draft board.

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