June 24, 2024

The clock may already be ticking on Steelers QB Kenny PickettMock draft experts continue to link the Pittsburgh Steelers to signal callers in the first round, despite growing reports that the team could trade for a quarterback like Justin Fields. On February 12, Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports predicted that the Steelers would select Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in their most recent mock selection.

Wilson noted, “This offense will benefit from the Steelers’ hiring of Arthur Smith as their new offensive coordinator.” “However, Penix Jr. could (should?) be taken into consideration here if they don’t believe Kenny Pickett is the long-term solution.”

Penix is a “rocket-armed left-handed thrower with elite drive velocity and high-end arm elasticity,” according to Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network. Penix is also a “high-IQ passer who gathers information pre-snap,” he continued.

Penix completed 65.4% of his passes for 4,903 yards with 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in the 2023 campaign. A career-best 8.8 yards per attempt were averaged by him.

Penix also guided Washington to a Pac-12 title, a National championship game berth, and an undefeated regular season.

Penix, Michael Is Matthew Stafford Capable?
First-round draft picks will start to be compared to NFL players who have already made a name for themselves as the draft progresses over the next two months.

Cummings already has one for Penix. The Washington quarterback’s characteristics were likened by the draft analyst to those of Super Bowl-winning signal caller Matthew Stafford.

Penix has the potential to be an NFL quarterback akin to Matthew Stafford at his best, provided he can maintain his health, according to Cummings. “With his velocity, angle freedom, surgical vision, and predatory passing instincts, he can carve defenses at all levels and is a quality pocket operator with functional mobility. His teammates can rally around him as a competitor.”

Between Penix and Stafford, there will be one significant distinction. In the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Stafford was selected by the Detroit Lions. Being one of the most divisive possibilities for 2024, Penix won’t even be selected in the top 10. Penix might miss the first round if his critics provide a more accurate picture of his draft stock than his admirers do.

Even still, it’s enticing to select a quarterback with Stafford potential at No. 20 overall.

Throughout his 15-year NFL career, Stafford has thrown for 357 touchdowns and 56,047 yards. In 2021, he led the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl championship and was selected to two Pro Bowls.

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