No. 4: Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)
The former Indiana Hoosier took a page out of Cam Ward’s playbook by following his former coach to the state of Washington. Together, Kalen DeBoer and Michael Penix led the Huskies to a successful campaign in 2023. Now, both return to take care of unfinished business.
As for Penix, his talent has never been in question. In fact, the strongest arm in the 2024 NFL Draft is the left arm of the sixth-year quarterback. He can make every throw needed on Sundays, showcasing top-tier velocity on throws deep downfield. Penix also profiles as an underrated runner, even if he only uses his legs as a last resort.
The lower half is where Penix’s biggest issue resides. The 6-foot-3 signal-caller must learn how to use his legs more effectively as a passer. As strong as his arm is, Penix is a mess with footwork and consistently fails to step into throws. The sheer arm strength makes up for it in college, but that won’t be the case at the next level.
Two more factors that will work against Penix throughout the 2024 NFL Draft process are his age and injury history. The lefty flamethrower will be 24 years old as a rookie, and with multiple torn ACLs at Indiana, NFL teams will want to see a clean medical report before taking him early in the draft.
Best Trait: Arm Strength
2024 NFL Draft Grade: Early Second-Round Pick