Huard: Why UW QB Michael Penix Jr. should be in play for Seahawks

Apr 18, 2024, 2:15 PM | Updated: Apr 24, 2024, 10:49 am

With incumbent starter Geno Smith and recently acquired backup Sam Howell, the Seattle Seahawks are set at quarterback for the 2024 season.

Huard: Where Michael Penix is better than other QBs in NFL Draft

But if the opportunity presents itself, could the Seahawks select their potential quarterback of the future in the early rounds of next week’s NFL Draft? And could that quarterback be the one who spent the past two seasons carving up opposing defenses across town at Husky Stadium?

FOX college football analyst Brock Huard believes that if Michael Penix Jr. falls out of the first round, the Seahawks should draft the former UW Huskies star quarterback. Huard shared his thoughts on the reigning Heisman Trophy runner-up during his daily draft profile Thursday on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk.

“If Michael Penix watches his name not called on Day 1, you will hear me on the show Friday morning say, ‘Go get Michael Penix,'” Huard said.

The Seahawks don’t currently have a second-round pick. However, they have been known under general manager John Schneider to trade their first-round pick for additional draft capital. Penix is projected to be drafted somewhere in the first two rounds, but there are a wide range of opinions on where exactly he’ll land.

“If Penix is sitting in the second round and the Seahawks have an opportunity, trade next year’s second- or third-(round pick),” Huard said. “Go up, be aggressive and get a guy that from Day 1 would step into this system and be ahead of the curve.”

Huard, a former UW quarterback himself, praised what the 23-year-old Penix did to transform the Huskies’ program. When Penix transferred to UW in December 2021 after four-season ending injuries at Indiana, the Huskies were coming off a dismal 4-8 campaign under fired coach Jimmy Lake. Penix spearheaded a dramatic turnaround, leading UW to a 25-3 record and a national championship game appearance in his two seasons as the Huskies’ quarterback.

“Michael Penix does what every one of these other guys I’ve profiled does – makes people around him better,” Huard said. “Dude was 25-3 coming off the Jimmy Lake debacle. They were bad. They were a four-win team. And obviously a lot of pieces were a part of it. … But he elevated everybody around him to being 25-3.”

Huard also pointed to Penix’s elite arm strength, which was on full display while the lefty QB threw for 9,544 yards and 67 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Huard remembers a conversation with his brother, former UW and NFL quarterback Damon Huard, during Penix’s first spring with the Huskies.

“Damon said it to me the first spring,” Huard said. “He’s like, ‘Bro, I’ve been around Dan Marino, Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady. I’ve not seen a dude throw the out cut like this guy can. This guy throws out cuts … unlike anything I’ve seen – especially at the college level, but even compared to some of the best ever at the NFL level.'”

Huard also liked how Penix responded over the past few months after the national championship game loss to Michigan. Penix excelled at the NFL combine and then showed off his athleticism at UW’s pro day, where he ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.5-second range and posted a vertical jump of 36 1/2 inches.

“Kudos to him, man,” Huard said. “He showed out through this whole interview process (with NFL teams). Season ends disappointingly against Michigan with the worst game of the season against a really brutal team. And then he builds himself up to 6 foot 2, 216 pounds. And then he goes the combine and he wings it everywhere.

“And then he gets to his pro day and … he reminds everybody, ‘I am not a stiff. I may have two ACL injuries. I may have two shoulder injuries. … But the last two years, I’ve hardly been touched, because I know how to play the game from the neck up. I know how to get the ball out.'”

Listen to Brock Huard’s full Seattle Seahawks Draft Profile on Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at this link or watch the video at the top of this story. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

More on Seattle Seahawks, Michael Penix and the draft

Michael Penix to a Seattle Seahawks rival in NFL Draft? Kiper thinks so
Brock’s Seahawks Draft Profile: Michigan CB with WR skills
Salk: The perfect fit for Seahawks in draft isn’t who you think
Final AP Mock NFL Draft: Edge with local tie to Seahawks?
Rost: With Seattle Seahawks’ top pick, expect the unexpected

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