Raiders Interested In QB Michael Penix Jr.?

Raiders hopes of forging a path that ends with Jayden Daniels is increasingly unlikely, despite the run of rumors indicating how much the team wants to pair Antonio Pierce with the former Arizona State recruit. A consolation prize is now being brought up.

The Raiders would have “loved” to find a way to trade up for Daniels,’s Adam Schefter offers, before adding that route will be “impossible” to complete. Las Vegas holds the No. 13 overall pick, while the 2023 Heisman winner may be the frontrunner to go off the board at 2.

With the Commanders presumably interested in adding Daniels to their roster, the Raiders — who sit behind the QB-needy Vikings (No. 11) and Broncos (No. 12) — would stand to be effectively stonewalled on this front. As our Ely Allen noted recently, the Raiders probably lack the capital to make a move that big. A recent report indicated the team may not be in lockstep on trading up at all, with Pierce perhaps higher on climbing to land a QB than GM Tom Telesco.

While this rumored disagreement would create an interesting conflict ahead of the duo’s first draft together, the Raiders do have Gardner Minshew on a two-year, $25MM deal. The recent Colts fill-in starter could mentor a young QB in need of seasoning. With a route to the top four set to be difficult to make happen, the Michael Penix Jr.Bo Nix tier would be worth looking into.

On that note, Schefter adds some chatter in the QB community has pointed to the Raiders eyeing Penix. Raiders-Penix whispers are growing louder, Vic Tafur of The Athletic adds (subscription required). Though, Tafur does not mock Penix to Las Vegas. The impressive deep-ball thrower has generated more interest among coaches than scouts, with the latter contingent iffy on his overall package — due to his past injuries and some accuracy issues beyond the deep ball. Some coaches have ex-Washington southpaw rated higher than some of the top-tier arms in this draft class.

Certainly fans of the long game for much of their history, the Raiders once upon a time would have been a natural team to tie to Penix. The recent CFP national championship game starter finished his sixth and final college season with a Division I-FBS-most 4,903 passing yards (8.8 per attempt) and 36 TD passes, forming a lethal combination with likely top-10 wideout pick Rome Odunze. This included a 430-yard outing to move Washington past Texas in the CFP semifinals. A transfer from Indiana, Penix averaged more passing yards per game in his first year at Washington (2022).

The Raiders hosted Penix on a “30” visit, being among the eight teams to have scheduled a meeting with the first-round-caliber prospect. Some might view grabbing Penix at 13 a reach, but the draft regularly bumps up QBs due to their towering positional value. Nix has also trekked to Las Vegas for a meeting.

This draft will be quite interesting for the futures of two AFC West franchises, with the Broncos appearing in worse QB shape than their rivals. The Penix-Nix prospect tier will be one to monitor closely in connection with both teams, as the Vikings — who acquired the No. 23 overall pick from the Texans last month — have more ammo to trade up by comparison.

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