3 reasons Michael Penix Jr. would be perfect fit with Vikings in 2024 NFL Draft

Imagine Michael Penix Jr. throwing the deep ball to Justin Jefferson.

Michael Penix Jr., Kevin O'Connell, 2024 NFL Draft, Vikings

Michael Penix Jr. has become quite the topic for the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, set to take place on April 25, starting with the first round. Last year’s Heisman Trophy runner-up has been slotted to be drafted anywhere within the first five to 10 picks or to not be selected in the first round at all. He’s one of the ongoing mysteries of this year’s draft.

Penix did, however, help himself out by participating in the NFL Combine, deciding not to forgo the event like some of the other quarterbacks. The former Huskies quarterback showed off his arm talent, particularly his ability to connect on the deep ball. In fact, ESPN’s Jordan Reid said that Penix might have helped himself out the most among all the quarterbacks who participated at the combine.

Still, that guarantees nothing about what teams will decide to do once the 2024 NFL Draft finally begins. Penix could easily be a surprise either way, whether he’s drafted before some of the other coveted quarterbacks like Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels, or he could completely fall out of the first round altogether.

One team that shouldn’t shy away from him is the Minnesota Vikings, as Penix could be the answer they need at a position that currently has a gaping hole. Here’s why the Vikings would be a perfect fit for Penix:

The Vikings are in need of a starting franchise quarterback

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) against the Michigan Wolverines during the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium.© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
If not for Kirk Cousins signing with the Vikings back in 2018, the team wouldn’t know what a franchise quarterback looked like. Sure, the team has its history with Fran Tarkenton, plus a few solid years with Daunte Culpepper and then Brett Favre’s final run, but after that, the Vikings have a minor history of great quarterback play.

Cousins, of course, is now gone to be with the Atlanta Falcons, as the Vikings were unwilling to come to a deal with the 35-year-old quarterback. That leaves Nick Mullens, Jaren Hall, and veteran Sam Darnold, whom the team signed in free agency. Darnold looks to be a safety net signing should the Vikings not find their quarterback in this year’s draft.

Picking at No. 11, the Vikings could find themselves just on the outside of drafting one of the top quarterbacks. However, thanks to a trade with the Houston Texans, the Vikings now have two first-round picks, their No. 11 and now the No. 23 pick. That could be enough to move up the board, with the opportunity to get Penix. But then again, the Vikings could also luck out if other teams aren’t high on him and could snatch him up at No. 11 or even 23, for that matter.

The Vikings have an excellent supporting cast for Michael Penix Jr.

Out of all the quarterback-needy teams, the Vikings have the best supporting cast for their future quarterback. Should Penix be selected to don a new shade of purple, he would join wide receivers Justin Jefferson, last year’s first-rounder Jordan Addison, tight end TJ Hockenson, and free agent running back Aaron Jones. As good of a deep-ball thrower as Penix is, pairing him with Jefferson and Addison would be trouble for a lot of teams.

Signing Penix could also become a two-fold deal for the Vikings, where they not only get a franchise quarterback but finally have Jefferson sign a new deal with the team.

Kevin O’Connell finally gets his quarterback

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell is considered one of the best offensive minds in the NFL. In just his first season with Minnesota, he led them to a division title for the first time since 2017 and the playoffs since 2019 with a 13-4 record. Last season didn’t go as planned, however, after Cousins went down with a season-ending Achilles injury. The Vikings still finished 7-10 and were in playoff contention until nearly the end.

As good as O’Connell is, he needs his guy now with Cousins gone. Drafting Penix would give O’Connell the opportunity to basically start from scratch and mold his rookie quarterback from the very start. If there are certain mechanical issues, like some scouts say there are, in where Penix’s weakness is throwing underneath, then being drafted by a team with an offensive-minded coach like O’Connell is the best possible choice for the young quarterback.

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