NFL insider reveals fascinating split between coaches, scouts on QB Michael Penix Jr.

Author:
Sportsnaut

The evaluation process leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft starts with scouts watching and analyzing the top prospects around the country, bringing their scouting reports back to the front office. It’s not until the offseason when coaches get involved and that’s coming into play with quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

Penix Jr, the first-team All-American quarterback for the Washington Huskies in 2023, entered the offseason viewed as a likely second-round pick. In addition to significant medical concerns, with a collegiate career including two ACL tears, the left-handed quarterback will also be one of the oldest rookies (24) next season.

Related: Michael Penix Jr. could go surprisingly high in 2024 NFL Draft

  • Michael Penix Jr stats (career): 13,741 passing yards, 146.6 QB rating, 96-34 TD-INT, 63.3% completion rate, 8.2 yards per attempt, 265 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns

However, scouts and general managers look for different qualities in players than coaches. Once the NFL season ended, head coaches became more actively involved in the process. That includes meeting with Penix Jr. at the NFL Combine and private workouts, getting to know him and working with him one-on-one.

Penix Jr. has elevated his draft stock this offseason, cementing his status as a first-round pick who could sneak up even higher if a team is high enough on him. Interestingly, there appears to be a split even with individual teams on the Heisman Trophy finalist.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft quarterback rankings, see where Michael Penix Jr. lands

According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, NFL coaches are higher on Penix Jr. than many scouts around the league. In fact, some coaches have Penix Jr. rated ahead of some of the top quarterback prospects like Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy.

  • Michael Penix Jr draft projection: Round 1

Penix Jr. certainly checks off a lot of boxes that coaches would like. In addition to his excellent arm strength and confidence in making tight-window throws, he’s an experienced quarterback who has taken his team to the national championship game and stepped up in big moments. Penix Jr. was far more consistent and successful than Maye in 2023 and he has better size and composure under pressure than Daniels.

The opinion of coaches also carries more weight when it comes to quarterbacks because the success of both parties is dependent on one another. If Penix Jr. is ultimately taken with a top 20 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, it’s a safe bet his new head coach played a significant role in him being chosen.

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