Bump: Why Michael Penix will be better in NFL than USC’s Caleb Williams

Jan 9, 2024, 1:59 PM

Michael Penix Jr. UW Huskies NFL Draft...

Michael Penix Jr. of the UW Huskies reacts prior to the 2024 CFP National Championship. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

When it comes to this year’s NFL Draft, three top Pac-12 quarterbacks are expected to go early between USC’s Caleb Williams, Oregon’s Bo Nix, and the UW Huskies’ Michael Penix Jr.

What’s next for UW Huskies? Top questions after title game loss

Nix may or may not be a first-round pick, but the expectation at this stage of the draft process seems to be that Penix will be a first-rounder and that Williams will be either the first or second quarterback taken, and he’ll likely be a top-three pick.

Barring something unforeseen, there’s almost no way Penix gets picked above Williams. But former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus thinks UW’s lefty quarterback will be the better player in the NFL, as he explained on Monday. (Note: This conversation was before Washington’s national championship loss to Michigan.)

“Michael Penix is going to have a better NFL career than Caleb Williams. I honestly think that,” Bumpus said. “When you sit back, I want you guys to think about what Caleb Williams has done this year and last year. He’s a great player and I think he’s more physically talented than Michael Penix. When you think of all his plays, they’re off schedule, he’s running across the yard, I hardly see him just operate from the pocket on time consistently. And that’s what Michael Penix does.”

Things speed up dramatically in the NFL, Bumpus said, as players are bigger, faster and stronger than who they went up against in college. That’s why for quarterbacks, it’s key to be able to play within structure inside the pocket, Bump said.

“You have to be able to operate from the pocket,” he said. “Even a guy like Kyler Murray has to operate from the pocket, Russell Wilson has to operate from the pocket. You can’t just rely on getting loose. Lamar Jackson is probably having a better season to me as a quarterback than he did his MVP year (in 2019) because he’s operating from the pocket. Now having the ability to get out and do all of that (is a good trait to have), and I think Michael Penix has that, too. He just doesn’t show it … I think Michael Penix is gonna have a better NFL career than Caleb Williams. I think they’ll both be fine, but Penix is the guy.”

Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

Huard: How title game loss impacts NFL Draft stock of Michael Penix

Bump & Stacy Show

Bump and Stacy

Seattle Seahawks Patrick Queen Kyle Van Noy...

Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: The aggressive but logical move for Seahawks to make

Michael Bumpus makes the case for the Seattle Seahawks spending big on free-agent linebacker Patrick Queen this offseason.

12 hours ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Seattle Seahawks Offensive Coordinator Ryan Grubb talks about what he plans to bring to this team

What does new Seattle Seahawks Offensive Coordinator Ryan Grubb want to bring to this Seattle Seahawks organization? What was the process like for him getting hired with the Seahawks? What will his Offensive approach look like? He joined Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost to talk about that and much more in this in person interview […]

2 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Ryan Grubb Jaxon Smith-Njigba...

Brent Stecker

New OC Ryan Grubb sees Seahawks’ WR trio similar to UW stars

New offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, coming off two years with the UW Huskies, sees a "familiarity" in what the Seattle Seahawks have at wide receiver.

2 days ago

UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr. Rome Odunze...

Brandon Gustafson

What NFL Draft expert Zierlein thinks of UW Huskies’ Penix, Odunze

NFL Draft insider Lance Zierlein dove into two star UW Huskies players – Michael Penix Jr. and Rome Odunze – and their pro ability with Seattle Sports' Bump and Stacy.

4 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Ryan Grubb...

Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: Seahawks OC Grubb brings plenty to like in run game

Ryan Grubb's offense at UW was known for its passing game, but Michael Bumpus says the new Seattle Seahawks OC has a great run game, too.

5 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Jordyn Brooks Jamal Adams...

Brandon Gustafson

Salary cap expert breaks down key Seahawks offseason decisions

Ahead of a big offseason, CBS salary cap expert Joel Corry joined Bump & Stacy to discuss all things Seattle Seahawks.

6 days ago

Bump: Why Michael Penix will be better in NFL than USC’s Caleb Williams