Raiders 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.

One of the top quarterback prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft class, Michael Penix Jr. will be heavily evaluated by the Las Vegas Raiders.
Washington v Oregon State
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Raiders QB prospect Michael Penix Jr. Weaknesses

Unfortunately, NFL evaluators are going to have some questions about the performance Penix put on tape in the National Championship game where Washington lost in large part due to an inability to play offense.

Penix looked flustered underneath the Wolverine pressure and could be seen taking his eyes off the field and onto the incoming rush numerous times. As such, his accuracy faded and his mechanics broke down.

The mechanical breakdown is not exclusive to this game either as he tends to do odd things with his release under pressure. Of course, quarterbacks often have to make adjustments with their arm under pressure but for Penix, it doesn’t take much and is not highly successful.

A lot of this is exacerbated by a much larger issue which is that he wants to see his player open rather than throw with anticipation which will cause him to be late on some rapidly closing windows. These windows get even faster in the pros.

With this issue in mind, it is easy to understand why Penix struggles so much to throw over the middle of the field where the windows are tightest and move quickly. Still, this is a necessity for an NFL quarterback as seen in the decline of Russell Wilson, who has a similar aversion to the middle of the field.