NFL teams fabricating interest in Michael Penix Jr. before 2024 NFL Draft?

Is the hype around Michael Penix Jr. legit?
2024 NFL Draft, Michael Penix Jr.
2024 NFL Draft, Michael Penix Jr. / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Every year, prospects get over-hyped to the point that it's hard to know what's genuine and what's not. Last year at this time, Will Levis was possibly going to be the Indianapolis Colts' pick at #4 overall. The year before that, Malik Willis was a sure-fire first-rounder. The year before that, it was Mac Jones going third overall to the 49ers after they traded up.

In every case, quarterbacks are the main culprits getting over-hyped. In the lead-up to the 2024 NFL Draft, it appears as though Washington's Michael Penix Jr. is the latest late riser. Penix is an outstanding prospect in his own right, and one of the most improved players in the country the last couple of seasons.

He went from being inconsistent and injury-prone at Indiana to being a Heisman contender at Washington, spreading the ball all around the field and turning himself into a legit NFL prospect. Most people have graded Penix as a Day 2 guy at this point, but ever since his Pro Day, Penix has been going on a visit circuit around the league with teams picking in the top half of the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Not only that, but there's some legitimate first-round hype coming from NFL teams.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is saying that there's some legit first-round buzz building for Penix, and he's not the first one at that Network to suggest it. Daniel Jeremiah released a mock draft recently which included Penix in the first round to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Penix had an outstanding pro day, showing no ill effects of the knee injuries he had in college. He passed his medical exams at the Scouting Combine and that was a massive hurdle for him in this pre-draft process. But is he truly a first-round player, or is the NFL trying to play us like they did with Will Levis and Malik Willis?

Anything is possible at this point, which is what makes the draft so fascinating.

Teams that are hoping to land Penix in the second round or even in the back half of the first round might now need to adjust their NFL Draft plans completely. And that is perhaps exactly what whoever leaked all of this about Penix is hoping for. Or maybe he's actually a first-round prospect and the fans and media are just playing catch-up.