Rich Eisen thinks Michael Penix will be drafted earlier than expected

Mar 19, 2024, 10:41 AM

NFL Draft Michael Penix Jr...

UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. reacts after a first down on Nov. 25, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Quarterbacks always dominate the NFL Draft cycle, and that’s especially the case this year with three to four QBs expected to go in the first 10 selections. Additionally, there’s been plenty of speculation as to where UW Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. will get drafted.

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Many analysts have pegged Penix as a second-round pick due in large part to his injury history and age – he’ll be 24 years old as a rookie. But renowned radio host and NFL Network voice Rich Eisen doesn’t think Penix will slide that far. In fact, he has a hard time seeing Penix being on the board when the Seahawks are on the clock with the 16th overall pick, as he shared with Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Tuesday.

“I don’t think Penix is going to be available for them when they draft (at 16). I don’t believe that,” Eisen said. “Yeah, I think Penix will be gone way before (then). I think Penix will have a shorter night than people expect him to have in Detroit.”

Two teams Eisen is keeping an eye on regarding Penix? The Denver Broncos, who have the 12th overall pick, and the Las Vegas Raiders, who pick right after.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns out to be a Raider. It’ll be fascinating to see what happens if he’s available at 12 for for Denver,” Eisen said. “It all depends, obviously, where (Michigan’s) J.J. McCarthy goes. My colleague at NFL Network, Daniel Jeremiah, said in his latest mock draft he thinks the Vikings move up to four to get McCarthy, which would lead Penix to sit on the board for a whole host of quarterback-needy teams to go get.”

It’s also worth noting that Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, has Penix going 13th overall to the Raiders. Jeremiah did not have Penix going in the first round in his first two mock drafts of the offseason.

Eisen, a Michigan alum, said Penix “scared me” when the Wolverines faced off with the Huskies for the national championship even though UW had a poor showing offensively.

“I think Penix got a taste of what it’s going to be like to play in the NFL when he played Michigan’s defense, to be honest with you. And he probably saw coverages he’s never seen and that caused him to struggle,” Eisen said. “But I think pre-snap neck up, this kid is really, really sharp, and that’s what you need in the NFL. That’s what you need. And then throwing the ball, nobody threw it like him at the combine … That spiral is tight … It spins when it comes out of his hand in a way it just doesn’t out of so many others’.

“I’m not some sort of scout or an expert, but I can just tell it when I see it how it looks different. And it did … You put it all together, and if you need a quarterback and you see what you see on tape and you’e really impressed by what you see in person and the coaching staff falls in love, that’s how you’re not a second-round pick. That’s how you go the first night.”

Hear the full Brock and Salk conversation with Rich Eisen in the podcast player near the top of this post.’s Reuter on picks he has Seahawks making in draft, including Michael Penix Jr.

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Rich Eisen thinks Michael Penix will be drafted earlier than expected