2024 NFL Draft: Best Fits for Michael Penix Jr. & Bo Nix

2024 NFL Draft: Best Fits for Michael Penix Jr. & Bo Nix article feature image

The quarterback position will dominate the top of the 2024 NFL Draft. Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels and J.J. McCarthy are all expected to be off the board within the first five or so picks. However, you can find -270 odds on DraftKings on Over 4.5 quarterbacks being drafted in the first round, indicating a strong likelihood we see a fifth — or even a sixth passer — come off the board Thursday.

Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Bo Nix are the next two quarterbacks expected to go. DraftKings has Penix Jr. priced as a -285 favorite to go ahead of Nix in the draft. Let’s break them down and assess their best fits.

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Michael Penix Jr.

Priced at -230 to be a first-round pick on DraftKings, Penix has plenty of arm strength and velocity. However, his accuracy leaves something to be desired, particularly under pressure, where his adjusted completion rate dropped by over 20%. Penix also has a lengthy injury history as he suffered four season-ending injuries, including two torn ACLs, at Indiana before transferring to Washington.

Penix is priced at +260 on DraftKings to be drafted by the Raiders, who have a clear need at quarterback. However, I have a difficult time believing Las Vegas would spend the 13th overall pick on Penix, despite his ability to boost the team’s vertical passing game. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah had Penix ranked at No. 35 in his final top-150 prospects list and The Athletic's consensus big board has Penix at No. 45.

The Vikings could make sense for Penix if they don’t make the expected trade-up for McCarthy. It’s difficult to believe Kevin O’Connell will sign off on going into next season with Sam Darnold, Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall making up the quarterback room after the team’s difficulties at the position last season. The Vikings are priced at +380 to take Penix.

The ties to the Seahawks, priced at +450, have been frequently discussed. Ryan Grubb, Penix’s offensive coordinator at Washington, is the new offensive coordinator in Seattle. Offensive line coach Scott Huff also followed Grubb to Seattle. However, the Seahawks traded for Sam Howell, who is the same age as Penix, this offseason and appear invested in his future. Seattle hasn’t drafted a first-round quarterback since 1993, and I don’t expect that to change this year.

If Penix falls into the second round, I’d be intrigued by the Dolphins as a potential landing spot. Miami exercised its fifth-year option on Tua Tagovailoa for this upcoming season and is expected to sign him to a lucrative extension. However, could Miami instead reset its contract clock with a rookie deal for Penix, a player who has drawn comparisons to Tagovailoa? The Dolphins are priced at +2000 to take Penix on DraftKings, and the Washington product, with his deep ball timing and velocity, would be a strong fit in Mike McDaniel’s system.

Bo Nix

Nix is priced at +180 on DraftKings to be a first-round pick. He's also listed at -230 to go Over 32.5 on his draft position. It seems that if one of Penix or Nix sneaks into the first round, it will be Penix. Nix was in a perfect system at Oregon, with 28.1% of his throws behind the line of scrimmage and 9.5% into tight windows, per Benjamin Solak of the Ringer. He’ll be asked to run a much more complex offense in the NFL, but lacks elite upside as the type of quarterback who elevates an offense.

The Broncos have been the favorite to land Nix throughout the pre-draft process and are listed at -130 on DraftKings. However, that projection took a hit on Monday as the Broncos traded for Zach Wilson. Denver didn’t give up much for Wilson, but with its roster in disarray, Sean Payton could view Wilson as an intriguing reclamation project while the rest of the team resets.

Nix is priced at +500 to land on the Giants, and Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft had the Giants trading up from No. 47 to No. 33 to take Nix. If the Giants miss out on the top four quarterbacks in this draft, they could look to address the position on Day 2, although Daniel Jones will likely still be under contract through the 2025 season with a $22.2 million dead cap hit.

The Rams have some ties to Nix and could explore the quarterback market. After all, Matthew Stafford just turned 36 and has no guaranteed money on his contract past this season. General manager Les Snead was a graduate assistant at Auburn in 1993 when the school’s quarterback was Patrick Nix, Bo’s father. Los Angeles is listed at +1000 to take Nix, which could be an intriguing match in the second round.

The Betting Verdict

I’d explore some long-shot plays on Penix and Nix. I made a bet on under 4.5 first-round quarterbacks since I don’t see either player as a first-round prospect. That bet likely hinges on the Vikings making a move up for a quarterback, as there’s a strong chance they take Penix if they wind up staying with the 11th and 23rd picks. However, I still believe Minnesota is going to trade up.

If the Vikings trade up for a different quarterback, that opens up some avenues. My favorite long shot is Nix to the Rams at +1000, while the Dolphins at +2000 are worth a flier for Penix.

As we get closer to draft day, expect to learn more about where these quarterbacks could land. Be sure to pay attention to the constantly changing odds on their draft position and the over/under market for 4.5 first-round quarterbacks.

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