05 Aug Michael Penix Jr., Indiana
Redshirt Junior | 6’3″ 218 lbs | Tampa, Florida | 5/8/2000
Michael Penix Jr. is a tall, strong quarterback with a good arm, but also plagued by injuries and poor accuracy.
Michael Penix Jr. is a lefty quarterback at Indiana entering his redshirt junior season. Penix’s first season at Indiana in 2018 was cut short by a torn ACL. In 2019, he had similar injury issues only playing six games. In 2020 he suffered another torn ACL, making it three straight seasons he finished the year on the shelf.
Penix plays in a relatively balanced offense at Indiana with RPOs, shotgun, and heavy usage of rollouts. Penix has flashed great talent leading Indiana to one of its best seasons in recent memory in 2020. He will look to continue that play into 2021 with a return to normalcy in the season from last year’s COVID complications. He is currently at +6000 odds to win the Heisman and is somewhat on the radar for quarterback prospects.
- Penix is a good athlete with a tough 6’3’’ frame and looks natural when rolling out of the pocket either on scrambles or on boots
- Great pocket presence, willing to withstand defenders in his face. Capable of making throws under pressure.
- Penix throws his balls with great anticipation, throwing his receivers open with great timing.
- A naturally strong arm will allow him to create the necessary ball speed and throw distance to hit deep targets.
- Penix has shown the leadership and poise to come back against tough opponents such as against Ohio State and Penn State in 2020.
- His processing is sufficient, often targeting open receivers and unafraid to throw to his third, or fourth target in his progression
Areas To Improve:
- Penix’s deep ball accuracy is poor and often overthrows receivers even when they have yards of separation.
- With only 47 rushing attempts, Penix has yet to prove that he’s a serious threat to run the ball; he tends to force the ball rather than take what he can with his legs.
- Penix’s laborious throwing motion is too long, giving both pass rushers and defensive backs extra time to react.
- Penix’s accuracy is currently insufficient to start at the NFL level with consistently shoddy ball placement at all levels of the field.
- Torn ACL in 2018: only played three games
- Multiple injuries in 2018 including shoulder strain, concussion, and an upper-body injury causing him to play only six games
- Torn right ACL in 2020, missed the final two games
At this point, Penix has the talent and flashes to inspire an NFL coaching staff to take a shot on him early on Day 3 in Rounds 4 or 5. He has only played in 15 games at this point and has much to improve on, most notably his accuracy. If he can improve his accuracy alone then he could easily come into the first-round conversation as that is his biggest and most limiting concern.
As Penix plays this season, his accuracy, especially on the deep ball, will be the biggest determining factor if teams think he can be a starting NFL QB. Penix has shown the ability to move out of the pocket thus far in his career and if he can translate that into becoming more of a rushing threat he could also improve his draft stock greatly.
Additionally, keep an eye on if he can stay healthy for the duration of the season, as his injury-filled past lingers on the minds of evaluators. With that being said, the success of his team, in general, will depend heavily on his performance this season. Indiana is currently ranked at 16 in the AP preseason poll and he will have much opportunity to prove himself against the always tough Big Ten.
Mitchell Wolfe is from Central Pennsylvania but loves all things Pittsburgh. He recently earned a Master’s degree in Sport Business with a concentration in Sports Analytics from Temple University. Mitch is a graduate of The Scouting Academy and has worked for Pro Football Focus as well. He is interested in developing ways to incorporate data-based decision-making into the scouting and drafting process. In his spare time, Mitch likes to play video games, read about history, or spend time with his fiance and their pets.