NFL Draft Rumors: Teams Feel Michael Penix Jr. a 1st-round lock is amid Raiders Buzz | News, scores, highlights, stats and rumors

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 2: Washington's Michael Penix #QB08 takes part in a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

For weeks, four quarterbacks were believed to be certain to be selected in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft, but rumors are growing that a fifth player should be added to the group.

On Saturday morning Sports Center (starts at 1:50), ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said Michael Penix Jr. is a player who appears to be “rising up the draft boards” and “several teams” believe he will be selected somewhere in the first round.

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

By @SportsCenter

*Giving a meaning to Jayden Daniels’ smoke around #2
*Patriots prospects at 3
*Penix shares
*Dak was prepared for anything, contract negotiations slow

There is increasing speculation that the Las Vegas Raiders could be a landing spot for Penix.

ESPNs Matt Miller reported Friday that the Raiders “really like” Penix and could use their first pick at No. 13 overall to select him.

The Raiders’ current quarterback depth chart includes Aidan O’Connell, Gardner Minshew II and Anthony Brown Jr. Head coach Antonio Pierce has spoken publicly about the need to find a quarterback as they need someone who can help them keep pace since they have been in the league. the same division as Patrick Mahomes.

For most of the lead-up to the draft, Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and JJ McCarthy were assumed to be guaranteed first-round picks. It wouldn’t even be a surprise if these are the first four selections, based on the needs of the top three teams (Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots) and the possibility of a team like the Raiders, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings or Denver Broncos will end up in the top four.

If those four quarterbacks go off the board within the first five or six picks, other teams looking for a starting option will have to figure out what they want to do.

Penix is ​​not without his flaws, including an extensive injury history that includes tearing the ACL in his right knee twice in three seasons while playing at Indiana. He is the 89th ranked prospect in the class of 2024 according to B/R’s NFL scouting department.

But all it takes is one team that has seen what Penix has done in Washington over the past two seasons and believes it will translate into the NFL for him to become a one-round pick one day.

Penix finished in the top 10 in the Heisman voting in each of the previous two years, including a second-place finish in 2023. He threw for 4,903 yards and 36 touchdowns to help Washington win the Pac-12 title and college football Playoff Championship. Match last season.