Michael Penix Jr.

Latest On Michael Penix Jr.’s Draft Stock

Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, and Drake Maye have sat relatively firmly atop mock drafts throughout the pre-draft process, and it sounds like J.J. McCarthy is destined to join that trio in the first round. After those top-four quarterbacks, focus shifts to Michael Penix Jr., and it remains to be seen how early the Washington product will hear his name called.

While teams like the Patriots (No. 3) and Giants (No. 6) have recently been connected to Penix, it’s more likely those teams would only consider the quarterback in trade-back scenarios. As a result, Albert Breer of SI.com believes the earliest Penix could be selected is by the Falcons at No. 8.

This would be an unexpected move by Atlanta, considering the team’s sizable offseason commitment to Kirk Cousins. However, since Penix has generally been viewed as less NFL-ready than his positional counterparts, the Falcons could secure their QB of the future while also competing now. As Breer notes, the duo of GM Terry Fontenot and head coach Raheem Morris could be enticed by a “Jordan Love-like plan” at quarterback, and they’ll likely be in prime position to select the Washington signal caller with their first-round pick.

While the Raiders could be ready to pounce on Penix at No. 13, there’s been some belief in league circles that the QB could land with the Seahawks at No. 16. The organization has plenty of connections to the incoming rookie. Besides being a local prospect, Penix is also familiar with new Seahawks offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb and offensive line coach Scott Huff, who were both poached from the Huskies staff. We heard similar rumblings surrounding the Seahawks/Penix connection earlier this month.

However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter cautions that the Seahawks may not be a logical landing spot for the quarterback. For starters, GM John Schneider has only drafted a pair of quarterbacks in his 15 years at the helm (Russell Wilson and Alex McGough). Further, the Seahawks are high on offseason acquisition Sam Howell as a future replacement for Geno Smith. Plus, Howell is the same age as Penix and already has 18 games of NFL experience.

If Penix isn’t selected in the top half of the first round, it’s uncertain how far he could fall. Yahoo’s Charles Robinson notes that there are several teams that have a “second-round grade on him or lower.” Penix has continued to be a divisive prospect, with one NFL offensive coach previously declaring him as the No. 2 QB in the draft (behind Williams).

Part of the skepticism is naturally surrounding the player’s injury history, as Penix suffered four season-ending injuries during his time in college. The QB was also knocked for his “scattershot accuracy underneath,” although Penix seemed to alleviate some of those concerns with a strong pro day showing. The varying opinions of the signal caller will make him one of the more intriguing prospects to watch through the first two days of the draft.

Jonathan Kraft Heavily Involved In Patriots’ Draft Plans; Michael Penix Jr. On Radar

Patriots preparations for their previous 24 drafts featured no questions as to who ran the show. As the franchise pushed its Super Bowl count to 10 and championship number to six, it relied on Bill Belichick to make the call. While some memorable misses took place, the legendary HC certainly fared well in this role as the team regularly built stout defenses around Tom Brady.

This year, the Pats enter the draft with an unusual setup. Eliot Wolf is in place as the de facto GM, but the team is planning to conduct interviews after the draft. It would be quite odd — given the decision the team faces at No. 3 overall — if ownership would consider giving someone else final say post-draft after letting Wolf potentially choose a long-term QB option. Days away from the draft, a quarterback pick is indeed the expectation for the suddenly rebuilding squad.

As the Patriots consider a potential trajectory-altering pick at 3, another key voice has emerged alongside Wolf. Patriots president Jonathan Kraft is “heavily involved” in the team’s pre-draft decision-making process, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini. The son of owner Robert Kraft, Jonathan has been with the organization since his father acquired it in the 1990s. While Russini adds Wolf is running the show, the younger Kraft’s involvement obviously generates questions.

Owners regularly intervene in draft decisions, though a clearly defined hierarchy — one that features football-ops personnel leading the way — is certainly the best path for an organization to take regarding high-stakes decisions. Jonathan Kraft playing a major role would mark a significant change for the Patriots, who obviously relied on Belichick for decades. Wolf’s opportunity coming with heavy ownership intervention would be an interesting start to his GM run — if that should indeed commence — with the Patriots would be interesting, as this is the second-generation personnel man’s first opportunity to lead a front office.

As for which way the Patriots are going at No. 3, signs point to them keeping the pick and drafting a quarterback. Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy have fans in the building, per SI.com’s Albert Breer, continuing a theme for a team that will probably see both the North Carolina and Michigan prospects on the board when it goes on the clock. The Pats brought a large contingent to Maye’s pro day. In addition to Wolf and Jerod Mayo, Breer adds OC Alex Van Pelt, senior offensive assistant Ben McAdoo, QBs coach T.C. McCartney and front office staffers Alonzo Highsmith, Matt Groh, Pat Stewart and Camren Williams also have input in this pivotal draft decision.

New England has also made it known it would be willing to trade the pick, but as of late last week, no offers strong enough are believed to have emerged. That said, Michael Penix Jr. fans reside in the organization. Penix is not expected to be a top-three pick, pointing to the Washington-developed southpaw being in play if the Pats pull the trigger on trading down. In fact, Breer adds the Patriots’ late Penix visit came about because they could be interested in nabbing him following a trade-down maneuver.

Some NFL personnel believe the Patriots will, in fact, trade down, Sportskeeda.com’s Tony Pauline adds. If the Patriots move back, it adds a significant wrinkle to this year’s top five. But if the Vikings or Broncos — both closely connected to moving up for a passer — make a strong enough offer the Pats agree to slide out of the top 10, Pauline adds a belief around the NFL exists indicating the Pats would then select Penix in the middle of Round 1. Our Ely Allen detailed the former Indiana and Washington starter’s prospect profile recently.

The Vikings hold No. 11 overall; the Broncos sit at No. 12. Those spots could be notable, as the Raiders — who are believed to be interested in Penix — sit at No. 13. The Patriots taking this route would bring controversy, given their chances of bringing Maye or McCarthy to Foxborough at 3. But they would add at least a 2025 first-round pick (and almost definitely more) if they moved the pick to Minnesota or Denver. The Giants are also believed to be interested in moving up, with Maye-New York buzz increasing over the past several days. The Pats would not collect as much if they dropped from 3 to 6, however.

Jonathan Kraft is believed to have advised against his father moving on from Belichick after the 2022 season, but the team powered forward with that separation — amid a feud between the accomplished HC and Robert Kraft — after a 4-13 season. Whichever way the Patriots go in this year’s first round, it certainly seems like the younger Kraft will have a notable say in the matter.

Giants Could Wait For QB In Draft

APRIL 22: Adding to the idea New York could pass on a first-round signal-caller, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post notes the Giants could be prepared to move down if J.J. McCarthy were the top passer still on the board at No. 6. That could result in a trade-down maneuver and leave the team in range for one of the second-tier QBs. Dunleavy adds that a factor which could alter that approach is the possibility of acquiring Maye, which falls in line with the Meirov report.

APRIL 21: Ever since Daniel Jones tore his ACL last season, putting to rest any chances of rebounding from an abysmal start to lead his team to the playoffs for the second year in a row, there has been constant chatter in New York about committing a first-round draft pick to the quarterback position. According to Ari Meirov of the 33rd Team, the Giants may not be all-in on using their current top pick, No. 6 overall, to draft a passer.

The Giants rewarded Jones’ playoff season, in which he led the league in fewest interceptions per pass attempt, with a four-year, $160MM contract. His first year under the new deal obviously did not go according to plan, but New York has claimed on multiple occasions that it does not regret committing to Jones and isn’t quite ready to give up on him. Still, they let it be known that they had plans to add a quarterback in the future; Jones’ injury history necessitated it.

Now, they actually have to address how that will work. Most projections for how the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft will play out see a run of four quarterbacks opening the night. While that’s not guaranteed, if it occurs, the Giants would likely not see any of the quarterbacks they want fall back to them. That hasn’t stopped many mock drafts from predicting a quarterback to New York via a trade up into the Cardinals’ No. 4 overall slot.

Meirov tells us that league rumors state that North Carolina passer Drake Maye is the only one of the passers not named “Caleb Williams” that the Giants would consider going after if he started to slip. It’s expecting quite a bit to think that Maye could find his way down to the sixth pick, but this could be insinuating that New York would trade up to the fourth pick if the Commanders and Patriots both pass on Maye.

If not, though, Meirov believes that they could address another position, like offensive tackle or wide receiver, at No. 6 overall then wait until the second round to select a quarterback. It depends how things play out, but both Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Bo Nix were thought of as Day 2 picks at some point. The run of passers at the top of the draft may mean that Penix and Nix hear their names a little earlier than their value (for instance, the Raiders have constantly been connected to Penix at No. 13 overall), but should either quarterback slip back into the second round, consider them top targets for the Giants.

If they particularly like Penix or Nix and see them starting to slip in the first round, they may decide to trade back into the first round, or they could leverage their No. 6 overall pick to trade back and collect more picks without addressing the offensive line or receiving corps then pick one of the two passers. If they miss out on both Penix and Nix they may have to reach (or trade back a little in the second round) for South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler, widely thought to have a third-round value or later.

Regardless, the Giants have lots of options. They remain committed to Jones but still feel the need to add a rookie to the room. Just how they decide to go about adding that rookie could say a lot about how they feel about Jones heading into 2024.

QB Draft Rumors: Penix, Maye, Rattler

The most common predictions we’ve been seeing for the 2024 NFL Draft are that the day will start with a run of four quarterback selections and that those four quarterbacks will be USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. The passer projected to be selected after those four, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., has continuously been linked to the Raiders, and as we approach the big day, that heat continues to produce smoke.

According to Matt Miller of ESPN, Penix to Las Vegas is a rumor he has been constantly hearing from sources he trusts. The Raiders were linked early in the process with Daniels, as the LSU-transfer is familiar with new head coach Antonio Pierce from the two’s time together at Arizona State. In order to draft him, though, the Raiders would need to trade up from No. 13 overall to select Daniels before one or more of the teams with picks two through four has a chance to. Despite doing their due diligence on the situation, it doesn’t appear that the Raiders have the assets to make such a move.

Instead, they have seemingly zeroed in on Penix. Some have classified this as a surprise, since many don’t have a first-round draft grade on the left-handed passer. To be frank, though, many teams don’t seem to have a first-round draft grade on the controversial McCarthy, either. With the projected run of quarterbacks to open the night, though, it’s widely expected that passers initially projected as second- and third-round quarterbacks like McCarthy, Penix, and Oregon’s Bo Nix could easily hear their names on the first day of the draft. As we get closer and closer to that day, it continues to seem likely that, some way or another, Penix will be a Raider in 2024.

Here are a couple other rumors concerning the draft’s quarterbacks:

  • Speaking of passers who some don’t consider a first-rounder, Jason La Canfora of The Washington Post shared the thoughts of a league general manager who called Maye “the biggest wild card in” the draft. According to that executive, “Some guys love him and think he could end up the best QB in this class, and some legitimately think he’s a mid-round pick.”
  • Part of the reason for the apparent dichotomy around Maye’s draft stock is due to the drop in production from the former Tar Heel’s sophomore year to his most recent junior season. Maye had a lower completion percentage while passing for 713 fewer yards, 14 fewer touchdowns, and two more interceptions in two fewer games this year. Some attribute that to the loss of weapons to the NFL and injury, but Tom Pelissero of NFL Network points to a different reason. Reportedly, Maye was dealing with a couple injuries throughout the year including an ankle injury and an AC sprain in his left shoulder. He didn’t use it as an excuse, but the limitations showed up on film in the form of inaccuracy and poor pocket awareness.
  • One name who doesn’t get mentioned as a top-six quarterback with first-round possibilities but also doesn’t get classified as a late-round flyer is South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler. According to Pelissero, there are some coaches who ranked Rattler ahead of Penix. This doesn’t change the fact that Penix is an expected first-round pick with Rattler is likely to hear his name on the second or third day of the draft, but chalk it up to the growing controversy surrounding this year’s QB class. McCarthy and Penix only became first-round considerations well after facing each other in the college season’s finale. Maye and Daniels have been back and forth as the top selection following Williams, and apparently Maye isn’t even considered a guarantee there by some executives. And now, we hear of Rattler, being ranked on some boards higher than the passer projected to go 13th overall. Truly anything seems possible with the coming draft’s QB class.

QB Prospect Notes: Williams, Patriots, Commanders, Giants

Caleb Williams is still expected to hear his name called first during next week’s draft, but the USC quarterback didn’t make the best impression on teams during the pre-draft process. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Williams’ interviews with teams were described as “good, not great” and “just OK.”

As Fowler notes, Williams declined medical exams and only did a handful of interviews, where he didn’t show the same poise and preparation as his fellow QB prospects. Naturally, some teams assumed this was a “byproduct of being a player who knows he’s going No. 1.” While Williams’ pre-draft strategy wasn’t considered a personality red flag by scouts, one AFC executive believes Williams left the door open for the Bears to pivot.

“I don’t think he’s had a great spring,” the executive told Fowler. “He’s still going first. That’s pretty much a done deal. But while he was a no-brainer three months ago, there’s at least a conversation now. Even still, I think he’s a smart kid, a good kid. He just knows where he’s going.”

Perhaps partly due to Williams’ offseason showing, there are some coaches who have actually graded LSU’s Jayden Daniels over the USC QB, per Adam Caplan of ProFootballNetwork.com. Of course, the only opinion that matters belongs to the Bears, but this recent grading adjustment at least leads Caplan to surmise that Daniels will be selected ahead of North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

While Maye is an underdog to be selected in the top-two, it’s no longer a guarantee that he’s even chosen with the third-overall pick. As Albert Breer of SI.com notes, there’s a “healthy debate” in New England between Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. While there’s still a chance the Patriots trade out of the No. 3 spot in pursuit of future picks, Breer believes owner Robert Kraft “views this as a rare chance to get a quarterback at this level.” The organization has certainly made it clear they’re eyeing all of the top-tier prospects, as the Patriots have met with Daniels, Maye, and McCarthy.

Washington is currently sitting with the second-overall pick, and they’ve been equally active in scouting QB prospects. Interestingly, the team will be hosting all of Daniels, Maye, McCarthy, and Washington’s Michael Penix for their top-30 visits at the same time, per Breer. This stems from GM Adam Peters‘ experience from San Francisco, where the 49ers would bring in groupings of prospects to see how they interact with peers.

With the Cardinals and Chargers likely out of the running for a top QB prospect, the Giants are next in line at the position behind Chicago, Washington, and New England. There’s been recent buzz that the Giants could look to move up (per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post) or even move back (per Fowler, via WBG84), but either way, it’s pretty clear the organization is targeting a signal-caller.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic believes the Giants are high enough on Maye that they’d swing a trade up the draft board. The writer also believes the organization isn’t enamored with McCarthy, perhaps necessitating a trade back if the Michigan QB is there at No. 6. If the Giants do end up trading back, Duggan could see a scenario where the team is actively pursuing Penix or Oregon’s Bo Nix in the back half of the first round.

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, ESPN.com’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.

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. is 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.

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.

Latest On Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.

The runup to the 2024 NFL Draft has been a rollercoaster for Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. Initially viewed in the second tier of top draft-eligible passers alongside Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, Penix has dipped in and out of the first round in mock drafts over the past several weeks, while McCarthy has skyrocketed into the top tier. Now, at this point in time, OutKick’s Armando Salguero tells us that at least three teams have Penix on their board with a first-round value.

Initially, there were concerns about Penix’s history with injury issues, as detailed in his recent Prospect Profile. His four season-ending injuries in as many years at Indiana had many uneasy about his health at the next level. After getting cleared in medical evaluations, Penix will be able to get most teams to look past his injury-history, though some may still hold on to their reservations.

As for which three teams have him slotted as a first-rounder, it’s difficult to say for sure. Penix has scheduled several different “top 30” visits over the last week. He’s set to meet with the Giants, Falcons, Raiders, Broncos, Steelers, Vikings, and Commanders, while the Seahawks have been mentioned as a team of interest, as well. The Commanders can probably be taken out of the mix. Even if they have a first-round grade on Penix, they are seemingly set to draft one of the top-tier passers at No. 2 overall.

The Falcons are an interesting team to watch after they sent “a sizable group to Seattle to conduct a private workout with” Penix today, per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. It’s hard to see them as one of the teams with a first-round grade on the 23-year-old, though, as they just signed Kirk Cousins to a big contract to start for them at quarterback.

Instead look to teams like the Raiders, who have been mocked to draft Penix on multiple occasions. Despite the team’s aggressive efforts to move into the top three draft picks, Las Vegas doesn’t seem to have the capital to make it happen. Those efforts show their desire to draft a quarterback, though, and if they’re stuck at 13th overall, they may have to settle for Penix.

With most mock drafts predicting a run of four passers in the first four picks, it only takes one or two more teams in the remaining 28 picks to pull the trigger on Penix or Oregon quarterback Bo Nix. With plenty of teams needing help at the position, Penix could join the ranks as one of up to five or six first-round quarterbacks.

Vikings, Commanders Schedule Michael Penix Meetings; Seahawks In Play For QB?

Not mentioned among the quarterbacks projected to land in the top five, Michael Penix Jr. still profiles as a player who could certainly go off the draft board in Round 1. A number of teams are doing their homework on the recent national championship game starter.

Penix scheduled visits with the Giants, Falcons, Broncos, Raiders and Steelers recently. The Vikings and Commanders can now be added to the Washington alum’s list. Penix worked out for the Vikings recently, according to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, who adds the Commanders will also host the southpaw QB on a “30” visit. Penix has begun his run of “30” meetings, stopping through Denver on Tuesday and Las Vegas today.

[RELATED: Assessing Michael Penix Jr’s Draft Stock]

The Commanders should not be expected to entertain taking Penix at No. 2 overall, but Dan Quinn did not commit to the team staying in that slot. The new Washington HC only said the Commanders are likely to leave the draft with a quarterback. Still, it would be fairly surprising to see a team that just hired a new GM and HC — and one with an owner who took over less than a year ago — pass on adding an impact QB prospect without needing to trade up.

The Vikings acquiring the Texans’ No. 27 overall pick has brought consistent rumors about the team trading up. Penix, however, could be available with Minnesota’s first pick (No. 11 overall). The Vikings have never chosen a quarterback in the top 10, but since acquiring that second first-rounder, they have been consistently predicted to break that streak. It would not seem Penix would require such a move, but Minnesota is doing due diligence on a passer with an extensive injury history and a strong finish to his college career.

Transferring from Indiana, Penix dominated at Washington and piloted the Huskies to the CFP title game. Working with top-flight WR Rome Odunze, Penix posted back-to-back 4,600-yard passing seasons. Last year, he closed with 36 TD passes and averaged 8.8 yards per attempt. Two torn ACLs and two shoulder injuries have brought understandable concerns, despite Penix’s strong finish. One GM mentioned to the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora it cleared Penix medically.

While the Penix-Odunze connection proved to be one of the college game’s most dangerous in many years, the QB’s past with Ryan Grubb should also warrant close inspection. The Seahawks, who hired the former Washington OC to call plays, are again being linked to Grubb’s former pupil. Some around the league believe the NFC West team, with Penix having played in Seattle and under Grubb, could in play to land the ex-Pac-12 star at No. 16, La Canfora adds.

Closely tied to Anthony Richardson last year, the Seahawks saw the Colts select the Florida talent one spot before them. Pete Carroll said the Seahawks would have considered drafting Richardson, whom they met with last year, at No. 5. They instead kept Geno Smith as the unquestioned QB1. Thus far in Mike Macdonald‘s first weeks on the job, Smith remains unchallenged for the gig. The 33-year-old QB saw a $12.7MM chunk of his 2024 base salary shift from an injury guarantee to a full guarantee in February, and Macdonald recently named the veteran his starter. But Smith’s three-year, $75MM deal is fairly Seahawks-friendly; the team could escape it easily in 2025. The Grubb-Penix connection should certainly be monitored ahead of the draft. Smith will turn 34 in October.

With J.J. McCarthy looking likely to be drafted closer to the Caleb WilliamsJayden DanielsDrake Maye tier, Penix joins Bo Nix as the passers who could become mid- or late-first-round selections. Both Pac-12 transfers will require significant pre-draft examination, but one team will roll the dice on the Washington product with plans to become a future starter.