The Las Vegas Raiders will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year which means the attention of many will turn immediately to the 2024 NFL Draft. There will be many top prospects on display during the College Football Playoffs, and one of the more intriguing is Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
Penix has led the Huskies to the National Championship game after defeating Texas on Monday night. The 2023 Maxwell Award winner completed 76.2 percent of his passes on the night, throwing for 420 yards and two touchdowns in the Sugar Bowl win.
His performance Monday, and throughout the season, has caught the eyes of many, including former Raiders All-Pro offensive guard Kelechi Osemele. The two-time Pro Bowler took to social media and believes the Raiders targeting the Huskies star would make for some great matchups in the future:
Yeah idk how long he would be available in the first round but Penix Jr. on the Raiders v Mahomes multiple times a season would be a MOVIE
— Kelechi Osemele (@KOseven0) January 2, 2024
The draft order isn’t set just yet with one more week remaining in the NFL season, but the Raiders will be hovering around the top 10 when everything is set in stone. While there is still plenty of time for things to change, Penix seems likely to be available whenever the Raiders pick in the first round and the team certainly still has a need at quarterback.
Currently, Penix looks to be a fringe first-round selection despite his excellent senior season. Some of this surely has to do with his injury history as the Huskies star suffered two torn ACLs during his time at Indiana, ultimately leading to him transferring to Washington.
But Penix has been outstanding since joining the Huskies. He was a First Team All-American this season and the Heisman Trophy runner-up to winner Jayden Daniels of LSU. Most draft boards have Penix behind Daniels as well as Oregon’s Bo Nix as the next group of quarterbacks after the top two of USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye.
Quarterbacks always tend to rise as the draft gets closer however and Penix could see his stock skyrocket if he is able to lead the Huskies over the Michigan Wolverines in the National Championship game. Should that happen, he could be right in the Raiders’ range when they make their first-round selection. The Raiders need to find their franchise quarterback, and in the eyes of Osemele, Michael Penix Jr. could be that guy.