STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 02: A general view of play as Michael Penix Jr. #9 of the Indiana Hoosiers prepares to take the snap against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at Beaver Stadium on October 2, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 02: A general view of play as Michael Penix Jr. #9 of the Indiana Hoosiers prepares to take the snap against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at Beaver Stadium on October 2, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Former NFL Scout Warns League About QB Michael Penix Jr.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

No NFL team would draft Indiana transfer Michael Penix Jr. based on his 2021 performance.

Penix, who now plays for the Washington Huskies, was a train wreck in three games I studied last season when he was with the Hoosiers.

He threw 7 interceptions in those three games, and it could have been 10.

Two more were nearly picked off against Iowa and one more could have been intercepted against Cincinnati.

He was so bad against Iowa, he was benched.

Now it’s as if Penix never played at Indiana

Penix is off to a fast start for the Huskies in 2022.

To date, he’s completed 65.4% of his passes for 1,733 yards, 16 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

His early performance through the first five games got CBS Sports to mock him into the first-round.

Statistically, he looks like a different player, or does he really?

Penix started out hot at Indiana

If you want to see a statistical roller coaster, take a look at Penix’s completion percentage over his five year college career (espn.com).

2018: 61.8%

2019: 68.8%

2020: 56.4%

2021: 53.7%

2022: (to date) 65.4%

Injuries…injuries…injuries

If that’s not enough to scare an NFL General Manager, perhaps Penix’s injury history will do it.

He sustained season-ending injuries in all four of his seasons at Indiana.

2018: torn right ACL

2019: Sternoclavicular joint (connecting the clavicle to the sternum)

2020: torn right ACL

2021: AC joint shoulder issue

The game film doesn’t lie

Any NFL team considering Penix in the 2023 NFL Draft owes it to themselves to watch these games (embedded in his evaluation below) at Indiana.

There is little doubt Penix will have a strong pro day without the pass rush in his face.

He’s got all the raw tools a team would want, and that’s what makes him enticing.

There’s also the game he had against Ohio State in 2020 when he threw for 495 yards and 5 TD.

However, something is missing. I don’t care about raw traits, I care about how those traits translate.

🚩Penix’s football resume states he is inconsistent and injury prone🚩

Penix was all over the road with his ball placement

If there aren’t enough concerns about Penix, let me add one more.

Even on the completions I saw, he often did not put his receivers in position to pick up additional yardage after the catch.

Not only is his 2021 completion percentage a concern, but equally as concerning was where he was putting the ball downfield – – his downfield ball placement.

His passes were too often over-thrown, under-thrown, too low (receivers had to dive) inside when it should have been thrown outside, and behind the receiver.

Putting receivers in the best position to pick up additional yardage after the catch is a desirable trait of a QB in the NFL.

Penix did not show he could do that with any consistency whatsoever.

#9 Michael Penix Jr. 6-foot-3, 214 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s Grade: UFA (undraftable free agent) – Early Fall 2022 Report

First Round Mock Big Board: QB18

Projected by 1.1% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of October 1, 2022 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

2021 Indiana game film reviewed: Cincinnati, Iowa and Penn State (click to watch games viewed to form this evaluation)

Level of competition: High

2021 stats: 87/162 (53.7%) 939 (5.8 avg.), 4 TD, 7 INT.

NFL comparable: DeShone Kizer

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report:

Strong-armed left-handed erratic passer with mobility who takes ill-advised chances throwing. Navigates the pocket well and able to slide around to avoid the rush. Goes through progressions. Best in the short throwing range. Does zip some in right on target at the intermediate level, but more often passes were off-target. Sometimes, badly off-target. Only hit one deep pass out of several attempts. Good at avoiding sacks, but will throw dangerous passes off of his back foot. Lacks touch and doesn’t depend enough on throwing mechanics. Relies too much on his arm strength. Doesn’t always throw the easiest ball to catch. Issues with timing routes and reading coverages. Good, but not great mobility. He isn’t going to change a game on his feet. Capable of picking up a few yards here and there. Raw prospect with low ceiling.

What to watch for during the 2022 college football season:

  1. How does his downfield ball placement look?
  2. Touchdown-to-interception ratio?
  3. Does he throw dangerous-looking passes?
  4. Can he throw finesse touch passes?

Penix is a hard no for me at this point.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

Featured Articles

Spencer Rattler Franchise NFL QB

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler in 10 games from 2023 embedded into this article.

Read More...

Joe Milton III: GO BIG OR GO HOME

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch Tennessee Volunteers' QB Joe Milton III in 12 games from 2023 embedded into this article.

Read More...

Dawg Mentality: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington Huskies

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch eight games of Washington Huskies QB MIchael Penix Jr. embedded into this article.

Read More...

Jayden Daniels Spends Birthday Serving Those in Need

Reading Time: 2 minutes First Round Mock's Victoria Jonach looks into how Jayden Daniels spent his birthday.

Read More...

Get to Know The Name Olumuyiwa Fashanu

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch four games of Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu embedded into this article.

Read More...

Bo Nix – the Ultimate Scholar Athlete

Reading Time: 3 minutes First Round Mock's Victoria Jonach looks into the details of Bo Nix's accomplishments and how they landed him a huge award.

Read More...

Iowa’s Cooper DeJean Transitioning to Safety in the NFL?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean in six games embedded into this article.

Read More...

Marvin Harrison Jr. Doesn’t Like To Go Out of His Way

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. in eight games embedded into this article.

Read More...

QB Drake Maye: Bottom-Tier NFL Starter

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch North Carolina QB Drake Maye in 14 games embedded into this article.

Read More...

Shocking 2024 NFL Draft Board Released: Quarterbacks

Reading Time: 8 minutes Get the most comprehensive insights available on quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Read More...