2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington

2T1WKTJ Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. runs out to the field through purple smoke before an NCAA college football game against Oregon, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

• Arm strength is Penix's biggest weapon: From hitting downfield bombs to fitting passes into tight windows at the intermediate parts of the field, Penix brings top-notch arm power to the table.

• Accuracy is still a concern: Penix recorded a 22.9% uncatchable inaccurate pass rate in 2023, tied for the highest mark among draft-eligible quarterbacks.

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PFF Grades and Stats

  • 90.8 PFF overall grade
  • 6.9% big-time throw rate
  • 2.0% turnover-worthy play rate
  • 74.3% adjusted completion rate
  • 7.6% pressure-to-sack rate
  • 92.7 PFF clean-pocket grade
  • 64.3 PFF pressured grade


Michael Penix Jr., 23, is a 6-foot-3, 213-pound quarterback from the University of Washington. Penix spent the first part of his college career at Indiana, where he tore his ACL in his freshman season. After coming back as the Hoosiers' starter for the next two seasons, he tore his ACL again in 2020. Following that year, Penix transferred to Washington and led the Huskies to an 11-2 record while being the FBS leader in passing yards per game. In his final season, he helped Washington to an undefeated season and a trip to the national championship game, which the team lost to Michigan. Penix finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2023.


Penix’s arm strength is arguably his best quality. While he might not display the prettiest form, he generates a ton of velocity on every throw he makes. That arm strength not only allows him to attack downfield but also lets him attack tighter windows in the intermediate areas.

There’s not a window Penix doesn’t think he can fit a ball into. He racked up the fifth-most attempts in the FBS when a targeted receiver was in tight coverage. Part of that comes from utilizing Washington's outstanding receiver corps, but another part comes from trusting them. He knew that if he placed the ball in spots where only his receivers could catch it, a completion was likely.

Penix’s strengths aren’t purely arm talent. Washington’s offense did a great job of showcasing his ability to see the whole field. Penix was one of 13 FBS quarterbacks to have more than 100 dropbacks when moved off their first read. On those plays, his 86.2 overall grade ranked second in the nation, behind only USC's Caleb Williams. That number is backed up by the film. You can see him constantly working through his progressions and manipulating safeties with his eyes.


One of the biggest concerns with Penix is accuracy. His 22.9% uncatchable inaccurate pass rate ties for the highest mark in the draft class. That number was never below 21% during his college career. It’s a huge concern for a five-year college quarterback, and it indicates that it may not be fixed once he gets to the NFL. Penix missed far too many easy passes, some of which stemmed from his throwing motion and mechanics. A quarterback's mechanics can often be overblown, but when you have accuracy problems, like Penix, it can be detrimental.

Penix's 7.6% pressure-to-sack ratio was one of the best in college football, but that’s only one part of the picture when it comes to dealing with pressure. He does a good job of not taking sacks, but he does tend to get skittish when the pocket starts to collapse, causing him to chuck the ball up into danger. He led the nation in throwaways under pressure. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there were too many instances of him throwing the ball away quickly instead of managing a collapsing pocket and still finding his receivers downfield.

Click here to see Michael Penix Jr.'s 2024 NFL Draft profile.


Michael Penix Jr. enjoyed a long and, ultimately, successful college career. His experience can be an argument for him having a rather high floor as a draft prospect. Add to that his arm talent and ability to get through his progressions effectively and efficiently, and you have a case to be made for a first-round pick.

On the flip side of that experience is the argument that, after five seasons in college, we know exactly what he is as a quarterback and there isn’t much of a ceiling. His accuracy was a problem throughout his college career. That not being fixed at this point makes it tough to think it will get better at the next level. And while he has shown an ability to avoid sacks, his struggles to make positive plays under pressure will only be more difficult when making the jump to the next level.

Where I would draft him: Late Second Round
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