One NFL Draft analyst has UW’s Michael Penix as 1st rounder with intriguing pro comp

Oct 27, 2023, 5:07 PM

UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr....

UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. passes against Arizona State on Oct. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

One of the top stories in college football this season has been the play of star UW Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

The lefty has positioned himself as one of the favorites to win the Heisman Memorial Trophy, which is given to the top player in the nation every year, and he’s helped guide the No. 5-ranked Huskies to a 7-0 start to the 2023 season.

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This year will be Penix’s last as a college football player as he will have exhausted all of his eligibity.

Penix passed on the last NFL Draft, but what kind of prospect will he be in next year’s class? That was something Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy asked NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who is one of the network’s top college football evaluators.

“I can just tell you of the five to six (quarterbacks) that I’ve studied over the summer and into the early portion of this year, I thought Penix was was third,” Jeremiah said. I thought he was behind the top two guys – Drake Maye being the second behind Caleb (Williams) – and then I really liked Penix.”

Williams stars at USC and won the Heisman last year. He’s widely expeceted to be the No. 1 overall pick in April, and he and Penix meet for a crucial Pac-12 showdown next Saturday, Nov. 4 in Los Angeles.

As for Maye, he plays at North Carolina and is commonly listed as the No. 2 quarterback in this year’s class behind Williams, who some analysts think is one of the top quarterback prospects over the last decade.

Those two, right now, are seen as top-five or even top-10 picks, and Jeremiah thinks Penix will go very early next April.

“I thought he was a first-round pick all day long when I studied him earlier this year,” he said.

So what about a pro comparison for Penix?

Recently, FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd told Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk that Penix was a stronger-armed Tua Tagovailoa, a fellow lefty who plays for the Miami Dolphins and was the No. 5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Former NFL quarterback and current FOX Sports college football analyst Brock Huard said he sees a lot of similarities between Penix and Houston Texans starter C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft.

Who’s the right NFL comp for star UW Huskies QB Michael Penix?

Jeremiah said Bruce Feldman, a FOX Sports analyst, asked him recently about Penix and a comparison for him, and a four-time Pro Bowler came to mind.

“I’m like, ‘He kind of plays like Kirk Cousins.’ … That’s who he reminds me of,” Jeremiah said.

Cousins, 35, entered the NFL in 2012 as a fourth-round pick and backup to No. 2 overall selection Robert Griffin III in Washington. Due to RG3’s numerous injuries, Cousins ultimately started a lot of games and became a Pro Bowler in D.C. before signing with the Minnesota Vikings, where he’s been since 2018.

Cosuins has made four Pro Bowls during his career and has passed for just under 40,000 yards and 268 touchdowns to 110 interceptions.

So what does Jeremiah see in Penix that reminds him of Cousins?

“When Penix was younger at (Indiana, where he started his collegiate career), he would kind of run around a little bit, but he doesn’t need to do it because he’s acquired enough knowledge with playing as much as he has that now he can just sit sort and just deliver the ball wherever he wants,” Jeremiah said. “He’s accurate, he can drive it, he can layer it. He can make every type of throw. A lefty always looks a little different coming out that way and he’s got that little three quarter delivery, but I thought this guy could just sit in the cockpit and kind of pick people apart.”

Listen to Bump & Stacy’s full conversation with Daniel Jeremiah at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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