Giants should avoid one quarterback prospect at all costs

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr.  (New York Giants prospect)
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the New York Giants sent a large contingency of coaches and front-office executives to scout Washington players on their pro day. The focal point was Michael Penix, Washington’s lefty quarterback who’s coming off a National Championship appearance and a great season by most accounts.

Penix is an option for the Giants if they want to invest a draft selection at the quarterback position, but he comes with a number of red flags that should deter them from taking a chance on his upside. To state the obvious, Penix has a lengthy injury history, including tearing his right ACL twice, a clavicle fracture, and A/C joint separation in his throwing arm.

Fortunately, Penix has enjoyed two years of injury-free football, suggesting that he’s overcome those issues and is 100% heading into the NFL.

However, it is always fair to mention the MetLife turf and what that has done to players’ knees, so Penix automatically comes with an asterisk. Aside from the injury probability, the Giants recently handed out a large contract to Andrew Thomas to secure the left tackle position, and Penix, being a left-handed quarterback, would change his blindside to the right tackle spot.

The Giants don’t have a true and stride player at RT, despite signing Jermaine Eluemunor to help smooth over the position. Until proven otherwise, the Giants have one of the worst pass-blocking units in football.

The Giants Need Youth and Developmental Upside

That said, Penix is coming off a year in which he threw for 4,906 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He was tremendous with his downfield accuracy and big-play metrics, but at nearly 24 years old, he would be a bit old for a rookie, and there may not be much room to grow at the NFL level, considering his lack of mobility. While he impressed with his 40-yard time at Washington’s pro day, that metric isn’t necessarily relevant to pocket mobility and extending plays.

Ultimately, Penix struggles considerably when moved out of the pocket, which is a frequent occurrence for any quarterback playing behind the Giants’ offensive line.

In the NFL, you need to be able to throw on the move, and most of the elite quarterbacks have that quality. Penix is fantastic in the pocket and is one of the best pre-snap processors in the draft class, but investing a draft selection on an injury-prone left-handed quarterback may be too risky.

Simply put, there are too many red flags for the Giants to move on from Daniel Jones because of injury concerns and acquire another quarterback with the same issues. They need to reset the position with a young player and a clean bill of health, and while that’s easier said than done, given the Giants hold the sixth overall selection, it is a reality they need to face.

Taking a flyer on Penix in the second round may be justifiable, but a first-round selection should be off the table entirely.

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