Michael Penix Jr. Quarterback, Washington
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- Strong arm that can be accurate to all levels of the field.
- Can throw using different arm angles.
- Some experience taking snaps under center.
- Smooth footwork when progressing through his reads.
- Big team player.
- Will be a 24-year old rookie.
- Will stare down a side before throwing.
- Maneuverability in the pocket is only okay.
- Will need to learn to anticipate better.
- Needs to learn to add loft/touch to his passes.
- Began college career at Indiana before transferring to Washington.
- 2023 Heisman Trophy finalist.
- All-PAC 12 Second Team in 2022 and 2023.
- 2023 Maxwell Award winner.
After spending his early years a Hoosier, Penix decided it was time for a change of scenery and took his talents west. While Washington enjoyed a fine season last year, it was a foreshadowing of what would come this year. Falling short of a national championship, Penix is still a Heisman Trophy finalist who has an impressive resume for NFL teams.
A six-year collegiate athlete, Michael Penix doesn’t lack experience. Throughout his career, Penix has displayed the ability to launch the ball accurately downfield to challenge the game’s best defenses. But it doesn’t stop there. He’s accurate to all levels of the field and isn’t afraid to rip it through tight windows. Throughout his years Penix has also taken snaps from under center; something many in college haven’t done.
Part of what he’s able to do this stems from his smooth footwork and ability to throw from different arm slots. Never stagnant, Michael Penix’s feet work smoothly as he surveys from the pocket. His feet stay in tune with his upper body especially on quick screens to the boundary, when he only has time to reset and fire away. Additionally, he routinely has shown the capability to sling it over the top, from ¾ release, and from the sidearm.
Still, one of the things that’s raved about Penix the most is his leadership. Constantly has he received praise from his coaches and teammates. This even shows up against USC as, on the first play of the second quarter, Penix blocks on a reverse that was supposed to be a pass to him. It’s not that it was a broken play. Rather, Penix recognized the team would gain more yards if he blocked for the ball carrier instead of going through with the designed play.
Unfortunately, despite the valuable experience, 24-year-old rookies aren’t necessarily favored; especially when there’s still learning to be done. Regularly Michael Penix throws with the same velocity downfield and on intermediate routes as he does on short passes. For Penix to thrive, he’ll need to learn to add loft to his footballs which will make him even more of an accurate passer. More so, he’ll need to stop staring down specific sides before throwing and learn to anticipate windows before they open. He often waits until the window is there which gives defenses more time to react. Lastly, he’ll need to learn to better maneuver the pocket. Against both four-man rushes and blitzes Penix’s understanding of his escape routes is subpar for a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Stats-wise, Penix had an overall phenomenal season deserving of being a Heisman Trophy finalist. However, a thorough film study shows there’s plenty to improve upon. The foundation is there, but it’s a matter of his growth will trend upward in the future.
My Two Cents
The biggest thing I fear with Penix is that he’s a college QB. How many times have we seen a college QB outperform himself until he gets to the NFL? While I’m rooting for Penix, I can’t help but think about the combination of his age with how much he still needs to improve. However, since plenty of teams need a QB, I think either Atlanta or Minnesota would suit him best.
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