NFL Rumors: Vikings predicted to draft Michael Penix Jr... in Round 2
The Minnesota Vikings have an uncertain future at quarterback. That's not news by any stretch. Kirk Cousins is slated to hit free agency this offseason, Jaren Hall showed little in his rookie season to create any faith he could be the guy, and the Vikings could be a bit cap-strapped when it comes to free agency.
Subsequently, the 2024 NFL Draft has long seemed like a potential area where the Vikings could go after a quarterback. Sitting at No. 11 overall, however, that puts Minnesota in a bit of a predicament. Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels will long be off the board by the time they're on the clock, which has left many to consider the possibility of J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, or Michael Penix Jr.
The problem with that is all three of those quarterbacks would ostensibly be a reach with the 11th overall pick, even for a quarterback-needy team like the Vikings. But what if they were able to get one of those signal-callers in the second round? That might change the calculus -- and might also be in play.
ESPN draft insider Matt Miller ($) predicted as much in his predictive 2024 mock draft after the Senior Bowl as he had the Vikings taking Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner at No. 11 and then taking Penix, the Washington Huskies star, with the No. 42 overall selection in the second round. Here's what Miller had to say:
"Penix's draft stock varies depending on whom you ask, but the most consistent answer I've heard is the second round, given the four season-ending injuries he suffered at Indiana (two knee injuries, two shoulder injuries). Penix has excellent arm strength and velocity, and as a pure passer, he's a first-rounder. He threw for nearly 5,000 yards in 2023 and helped lead Washington to the national title game. But those injury and durability questions push him to the Vikings."
This would be an absolute gift for the Vikings. Penix's age and injury history do cause some concerns, but his style of play seems perfectly suited to thorwing to the likes of Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson under the watch of Kevin O'Connell. And being able to replace Danielle Hunter and still grab their quarterback would be an extra win.
Who knows if this is actually how the draft will play out. But based on this latest intel, it does appear that the Vikings lucking into Penix (or a usable quarterback prospect) in Round 2 could be on the table.