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2024 NFL draft prospect: Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.

Welcome to SKOL Search!

This series will be your guide to the 2024 draft class. From scouting reports to mock drafts and exploring different scenarios, we will be covering the NFL draft and the future of the Minnesota Vikings from all angles.

We are getting a head start this year by looking at the talent projected to be available in the upcoming 2024 NFL draft. Why start in the summer? It’s a good way to see how the players grow from year-to-year and we will be looking at players from a Vikings perspective.

Right now, the Vikings will have seven draft picks in the 2024 NFL draft.

  • 1st round

  • 2nd round

  • 4th round

  • 4th round (via Lions)

  • 5th round (via Chiefs)

  • 5th round (via Browns)

  • 6th round

Background

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Penix Jr.

  • Washington

  • Transfer from Indiana

  • Fifth-year senior

  • Height: 6030

  • Weight: 218 lbs

  • Three-star recruit per 247 Sports

  • Stats: 62.3% completion, 8,838 yards, 60 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, 99 rushes, 257 yards, 2.6 YPC, 10 touchdowns

  • Games watched: Penn State 2020, Kent State 2022, Oregon State 2022, Texas 2022

What does he do well?

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The first thing that pops out on the film is how live Penix Jr.’s arm is. He can fire the ball into tight windows and throw deep without much help from his lower half. The first play against Texas in the Alamo Bowl showed that in droves.

In the pocket is where Penix Jr. thrives the most. He can run when needed and throws well on the move while creating outside of structure, but he would much rather stay inside the pocket and beat you there. Penix Jr. possesses a good pump fake with both vigor and quickness.

Footwork is crisp out of the shotgun. He doesn’t have a hitch in his step and keeps them active to reset quickly. It helps him be accurate with the football. Placement is a massive plus when he has clean footwork.

Where does he need improvement?

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Penix Jr. has a sidearm release that can cause him to sail the football. His receivers have to jump for the ball unnecessarily. He also has a somewhat elongated motion that hasn’t gotten him in trouble yet, but it could in the pros.

While he does show good footwork, there are times where he gets choppy with his footwork. It causes his base to get wide and it makes him sail the football. That’s not a great thing to pair with his sidearm release.

Vision isn’t the best. He can miss defenders out in space and that caused multiple interceptions this past season.

Injuries are a major concern. He has multiple torn ACLs that have ended seasons along with a shoulder injury. Medicals will need to be clean for him to be a draftable player,

How does he fit with the Vikings?

Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

He plays mostly out of the shotgun and has an arm to attack the entire field, but that will work with Kevin O’Connell’s offense. Working from under center is something that Penix Jr. looks to have the ability to learn. With Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison to throw to, Penix Jr. would be a nice player to build around if the medicals check out. The Vikings medical staff is one that you can trust with a situation as complicated as Penix Jr.’s.

Where does he project to go?

USA Today Sports

Penix Jr. is a very talented player that can make plays on all three levels of the field. He has the athleticism to thrive in situations that are far from advantageous and can create when the play breaks down. He will need to clear medical checks with his multiple season-ending injuries and work to see the field better. If he passes his medicals and takes another step forward, he could be a first-round pick in 2024.

Projection: 2nd round pick-undraftable depending on medical checks

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire