Report: Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. Has Pre-Draft Visit With Steelers

Though the Pittsburgh Steelers have turned over their quarterback room with Russell Wilson and Justin Fields, they might not be done adding big-name quarterbacks to their roster. According to ESPN’s Brady Henderson, Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. is slated to visit the Steelers ahead of April’s draft.

How high should QB Michael Penix Jr. be on the Steelers NFL Draft big  board? - Behind the Steel Curtain

“Penix told ESPN that he has pre-draft visits scheduled with the Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers beginning next week.”

Penix is regarded as a borderline first round quarterback in a deep class. He led the Huskies on a great run in 2023 before losing in the championship game to Michigan. In 2023, he recorded 36 touchdowns to 11 interceptions while throwing for over 4,900 yards. Penix began his career at Indiana but transferred to Washington ahead of the 2022 season.

According to Mock Draft Database, Penix is projected to be selected in the early second round. But it’s possible teams will look to trade into the back end of the first round for a quarterback after the top four — USC’s Caleb Williams, Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, UNC’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels — are off the board. Penix is competing with Oregon’s Bo Nix to be the fifth passer drafted.

Pittsburgh last used a first round pick on a quarterback in 2022, drafting Kenny Pickett 20th overall. Pickett was dealt earlier this month to the Philadelphia Eagles, leading to the Steelers trading for Fields. It seems unlikely the Steelers will seriously consider using an early-round pick on the position.

But with Wilson on a one-year deal and Fields a free agent after 2024 assuming his fifth-year option is declined, the team might be keeping their options open. At the least, they’re continuing to study quarterback classes in case they need to draft the position high in 2025.

Our profile of Penix noted a strong frame, some mobility, great arm strength and the ability to get the ball out of his hands quickly. On the negative end, he has a checkered medical history and occasional costly decision-making.

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