We Can Safely Cross Michael Penix Jr Off Vikings’ List of QB Draft Targets

michael penix jr minnesota vikings rumors
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings need a franchise QB. That is not a secret. They hope to find one in the 1st round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Also, not a secret. That’s why most of the what you hear out of Vikings brass this week from the NFL league meetings in Orlando has to be taken with a grain of salt.

But that doesn’t mean everything we heard come out of head coach Kevin O’Connell’s mouth on Tuesday at the NFL League Meetings was worthless. Sure, we still don’t know whether he prefers JJ McCarthy, Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye as the Vikings QB of the future. But… KOC made one comment on the Pat McAfee show today that made it pretty clear who will NOT be the next quarterback to wear purple and gold.

Kevin O’Connell, Vikings appear out on Michael Penix Jr.

While O’Connell was talking about how important accuracy is to the making of an elite NFL quarterback, McAfee jumped in on the head coach with, “So… Michael Penix Jr?” To that, O’Connell stopped… paused… and then repeated himself while chuckling and eventually trailing off, “I think accuracy is the number one trait…”

You have to watch this clip for yourself… it has to be the most caught dead on a question that I’ve ever seen with KOC. I mean, talk about a dead giveaway.

KOC: “I think accuracy is the number one trait that NFL quarterbacks need to have because…

McAfee: “Oh, so Penix…?”

[long pause]

KOC: “I think accuracy is the number one trait… haha [trails off]”

Pat McAfee Show

As a college quarterback, Penix Jr has a lot of experience. He played at Indiana for four years, before transferring for two more seasons at Washington. His completion percentage skyrocketed once he got to Seattle and there’s really no doubting his production.

Related: Wilfs Appear Confident, Borderline Giddy Over Vikings’ Draft Plans at QB

As a 23-year-old super senior, Penix threw for 4,903 yards on 363-of-555 passes (65.4 CMP %), including 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Washington went to the National Championship, where they were absolutely destroyed by the Michigan Wolverines.

2018IndianaBig TenFR3213461.82196.47.010125.6
*2019IndianaBig TenFR711016068.813948.78.8104157.6
*2020IndianaBig TenSO612422056.416457.57.9144136.5
2021IndianaBig TenJR58716253.79395.84.347101.9
Career Totals1067168563.3137418.28.49634146.6
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/26/2024.

There have been a lot of smokescreens flying around the NFL Draft world recently, but one quarterback the Minnesota Vikings have not been associated with is Michael Penix Jr. And unless they’re pulling off one of the most elaborate smoke screens in NFL draft history, I think it’s safe to assume that is for a reason.

Related: Kevin O’Connell Wants Us to Believe Vikings Aren’t Sold on Trading Up for QB

After doing his homework, Kevin O’Connell does not see Michael Penix Jr as a QB who is accurate enough to become a franchise guy in the NFL. If the Vikings are targeting a later 1st round quarterback, it’ll likely be Bo Nix (who they have been tied to a couple times recently).

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