Patriots To Host QB Michael Penix Jr.

Doing extensive homework on this draft’s quarterback class, the Patriots will squeeze in another meeting with a prospect before Wednesday’s deadline to conduct “30” visits.

Michael Penix Jr.┬áis heading to Foxborough for a meeting, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The Washington quarterback will meet with team brass tonight and go through a traditional visit Tuesday. Penix has logged a busy visit schedule leading up to the draft, and the team holding the No. 3 overall selection — and one also linked to potentially trading down — is up next on his docket.

[RELATED: Looking At Penix’s Prospect Profile]

Looming as a player who could make his way toward the middle of the first round (depending on trades made and which QBs go where early), Penix could be of interest to the Pats if they trade down from No. 3 overall. A late-March report indicated the Patriots could be in play to move down and still acquire a quarterback. That risky path — not seen as the most likely play for the QB-needy team — could certainly involve Penix, who is not projected to be one of the QBs who go off the board in the top five.

The Pats scheduled meetings with Penix, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy. New England’s rearranged staff also brought the most representation at the Maye and Daniels pro days. If the Pats stick at No. 3, one of those two passers will almost definitely be available. Unless McCarthy’s rise includes a surprising surge to No. 2 overall and a ticket to Washington, which as of now may be most likely to draft Daniels, the Michigan arm would be available to Pats at 3. Interest in Penix would only further complicate this Patriots situation.

Daniel Jeremiah’s NFL.com big board ranks Penix as this draft class’ 33rd-best prospect; Mel Kiper Jr.’s ESPN.com offering has the southpaw QB outside his overall top 25. But coaches are believed to view the ex-Indiana recruit higher than scouts. Leadership traits and tremendous success throwing deep have drawn coaches to Penix, and some coaches have him listed ahead of some of “the presumed top guys.” That said, Kiper does not have Penix going off the board until the second round (No. 37, to the Rams via trade-up). Penix and Bo Nix reside as wild cards in a draft that may well feature QBs (most likely Caleb Williams and then Daniels, Maye and McCarthy in some order) going from Nos. 1-4 for the first time in history.

Penix, whose Commanders meeting is set for Tuesday night and Wednesday (per Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, will close the pre-draft visit cycle having met with eight teams. In addition to the Patriots and Commanders, the injury-prone (but largely medically cleared) QB went through meetings with the Broncos, Falcons, Steelers, Giants, Raiders and Vikings. The Seahawks, who now employ recent Washington OC Ryan Grubb as their play-caller, also came up on the Penix radar.

Despite two ACLs and significant shoulder trouble in his past, Penix powered the Huskies to the CFP national championship game. He spent six years in college, which is no longer uncommon thanks to the COVID-19 period extending college careers. Like Nix, Penix broke through in the Pac-12. Last season, the 6-foot-2 lefty totaled 4,903 passing yards and 36 TDs. Never showing too much as a rusher (one 100-plus-yard college season on the ground), Penix still looms as a potential option for one of the QB-needy teams that does not land one of the top-tier arms. The Pats would certainly throw a wrench into the draft process by making a move that ends with Penix in New England.

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