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    NFL Draft Rumors: Insider Reveals Coaches Are Higher on Michael Penix Jr. Compared to Scouts

    Michael Penix Jr. was labeled a non-first-rounder by scouts. However, one insider reported coaches have offered a different view of the quarterback.

    Michael Penix Jr. has started to earn a far different NFL Draft grade from a certain set of evaluators than he did earlier in the process as the annual player selection event approaches.

    The change in projection, though, isn’t coming from scouts who have evaluated him throughout the process, according to one league insider Saturday.

    Michael Penix Jr. Placed Ahead of Everyone Except 1 Top QB, Insider Says

    Sports Illustrated NFL insider Albert Breer revealed that the Washington Huskies quarterback has coaches placing a higher grade on him than originally predicted.

    Per Breer, his conversations with league officials indicate there are coaches who like the 2023 Heisman Trophy finalist better than some of the more touted QB prospects — with one notable exception.

    “One interesting thing I’ve picked up on making calls this week: Coaches seem to be higher than scouts on Washington QB Michael Penix, in general,” Breer said. “Some have him ahead of the presumed top guys (excluding Caleb Williams).”

    This indicates there are NFL coaches who have Penix listed higher than names like J.J. McCarthy, Drake Maye, and even 2023 Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels. All three QBs are anticipated to go early in the first round on April 25. Penix, meanwhile, has had mock drafts list him as a high-to-mid second-round option.

    But does Breer’s report mean it’s likely Penix Jr. will crack the first round after all?

    Penix’s Draft Evaluation Signifies How High He Could Land

    PFN’s Ian Cummings is one who believes Penix is capable of landing higher than originally predicted.

    “Off of film, Penix Jr. grades out as a late first-round or early Day 2 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and a potential top-five QB prospect,” Cummings wrote in his scouting evaluation of the Huskies passer.

    If Penix theoretically sneaks into the late first round, it’s possible that happens via a late-breaking trade involving a team in search of QB depth or even a potential future franchise passer.

    “Drake Maye, Caleb Williams, and Jayden Daniels make up the top three, and J.J. McCarthy and Bo Nix are heavy contenders for the next two spots. That said, Penix has the tools and the high operational floor to generate interest as a franchise QB candidate if his medicals check out,” Cummings said.

    The dilemma on Penix heading into the 2024 NFL Combine was his injury history. Penix sustained two torn ACLs in 2018 and 2020 while additionally enduring two separate shoulder ailments in 2019 and 2021, one involving his throwing arm. But he was medically cleared to compete in the event and is entering the draft fully healthy.

    Cummings identified arm elasticity, high football IQ, throwing velocity, and fearlessness as four of Penix’s major strengths in his scouting report.

    “On the field, there is much to like about Penix’s game. He’s a fearless gunslinger with elite drive velocity and arm talent, which he uses to consistently fit passes into tight windows — windows he’s able to pick out with his patience, field vision, and processing ability,” Cummings wrote.

    Penix displayed a flair for explosive plays with the Huskies thanks to his arm. But even when Penix isn’t in a groove on offense, Cummings discovered that the QB’s presence on the field is still impactful.

    KEEP READING: NFL QB Rankings 2024

    “Take away the big-play generation and risk propensity, and you’re still left with a quality distributor,” Cummings said. “Penix’s situational precision can improve at times, but he’s generally an accurate passer with great pocket management, discretion, and opportunity identification. And when he needs to put the team on his back, he can with his competitive toughness.”

    The latter description is likely a trait coaches have noticed in their scrutiny of Penix. Their eyes seem to view the Washington star far differently than do those of the scouts.

     Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s all-new Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls – lone wolf or with your friends!

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