3 reasons why drafting Michael Penix Jr. would be a mistake for the Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos should stay away from this QB prospect for these three reasons.
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos, who currently have a massive hole at the starting quarterback position on their depth chart, are in the midst of their search for the next franchise player under center. As the team is heavily expected to draft a quarterback at some point during the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, there is a wide range of options to choose from, even if all do not make sense. Of these potential prospects include Oregon's Bo Nix, Michigan's J.J. McCarthy, Washington's Michael Penix Jr., and a few others.

With that being said, which of these potential first-round picks would be a "worst-case scenario" for the Denver Broncos? Penix Jr. most certainly raises a level of concerns regarding his transition to the NFL, especially in a Sean Payton-ran offense. At 23 years old, he still possesses enough traits to be a day-two selection at the latest, however, the Broncos should look elsewhere when searching for their quarterback of the future.

3 reasons why the Broncos should NOT draft Michael Penix Jr.:

1. Prolonged injury history

The more obvious concern of Penix Jr. consists of his lengthy injury history dating back to his initial years in college football. In the span of four years, he suffered two ACL tears on the same knee, a shoulder clavicle fracture, and a shoulder A/C joint separation. Multiple season-ending injuries are never a good look for a prospect's medicals and despite testing well at the combine, you truly never know when these issues could reappear. The Broncos are in dire need of not only elite play at the quarterback position but also availability. There is no telling if Penix Jr. will be able to consistently provide that year after year.

2. Inability under pressure

Despite performing as a top-10 unit in 2023, Denver's offensive line did show at times that they can be a liability to the quarterback and are not always going to perform at a high level. Not to mention, the center position did take a step back after losing star Lloyd Cushenberry to the Tennessee Titans in free agency. Under pressure, Penix Jr. is simply a below-average quarterback at best. He often panics when defenses present various blitzes and as he transitions to the NFL, defensive coverages and blitzes are only going to become more advanced and difficult to respond to.

Realistically, Penix Jr. will need a full season of sitting on the bench and learning from a tenured veteran before he can enter the starting lineup and make an impact. The Broncos are simply in no position for that.

3. Inconsistent accuracy/schematic misfit

While he certainly has a strong and effective arm, Penix Jr. definitely can be inconsistent with ball placement, especially in the intermediate areas of the field where Sean Payton's quarterbacks are expected to thrive. He has a beautiful touch on his passes and has an excellent deep ball, however, he doesn't pose the greatest fit for Denver's offensive approach in the passing game. When targeting classic timing routes from inside the pocket in 2023, Penix Jr. ranked sixth among all quarterbacks in the draft. In Sean Payton's version of the West Coast offense, this inability to utilize timing routes will not fly.

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