Michael Penix, Jr. has been electric since he stepped onto the football field for the Washington Huskies. In two seasons for the Huskies, the left-hander has thrown 64 touchdown passes and just 17 interceptions. He has also completed 65.6 percent of his passes. He is efficient but with a wickedly strong arm.
On Friday, Penix, Jr. led Washington to a Pac-12 championship game victory over the favored Oregon Ducks, and Washington will likely be part of the college football playoff, too. They are unbeaten and their offense is powerful. But for Seattle Seahawks fans, something Penix, Jr. said after the game might be of greater interest.
On the field after the game, Penix borrowed Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith's phrase from Seattle's 2022 Week 1 victory over the Denver Broncos. You likely remember that Smith notoriously said post-game, "They wrote me off, but I ain’t write back though!" On Friday, Penix said, "They tried to write us off, but we ain't write back!"
Seattle Seahawks could have Michael Penix, Jr. as QB1 in 2024
The Huskies had beaten the Ducks earlier in the season and were still underdoggs going into the Pac-12 title game. Penix had not played as well over the past few games while Oregon was rolling. Washington being an underdog made sense, though it was still wrong.
But Michael Penix, Jr. might steal more than Geno Smith's line; He could take his job in 2024. Seattle keeps losing games which means their first-round draft pick keeps rising. There will likely be several potentially very good quarterbacks available in the 2024 NFL Draft. Many mock drafts do not have Penix being one of the top three quarterbacks chosen. Should Seattle's first-round choice end up closer to 10 than 20, Penix could very well be available for choosing.
The Seahawks do not need to find their long-term quarterback sooner than later. Smith was better than expected in 2022, but he has been a mixed bag in 2023. The Seahawks have a young team and it would make sense for the first and second players on the team to grow up with a young quarterback. Plus, Seattle taking Penix just seems a bit of a no-brainer for several reasons.
For one, Penix's arm is fantastic. The ball gets from him to receiver on a line and quickly. His deep ball is Russell Wilson-like. And while he is left-handed and that makes the right tackle on a team more important than the left tackle, the Seahawks have a very good right tackle in Abraham Lucas. Penix is also used to playing in the conditions of Seattle so that won't be an issue.
Sure, Penix is a bit older than other quarterbacks who will be drafted in 2024 - Penix will be 24 years old in Week 1 of 2024 while USC's Caleb Williams and North Carolina's Drake Maye will only be 22 - and he had an injury history in his years at the University of Indiana, but that likely only slightly hurts his draft status. In fact, his stauts might be affected just enough to drop him to the Seahawks. In Week 1, we could be looking at Michael Penix, Jr. as Seattle's QB1 instead of Geno Smith.