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2024 NFL Draft

Michael Penix Catches Eye of Former Steelers Coach Bruce Arians

Bruce Arians loves the potential that Michael Penix brings to the table even in a solid quarterback class this year.



Pittsburgh Steelers Michael Penix

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been connected to just about every quarterback before the NFL Combine or free agency. But the mid-round quarterbacks feel far likelier than anyone else, and so someone like Michael Penix being there could force the team to make a move to land him.

Bruce Arians, who was the Steelers offensive coordinator at one point and is now a Super Bowl winning coach, believes that Penix is a hidden gem in the class.

“As far as the football grade, I love (Penix) because he does things I love to do,” Arians told the Tampa Bay Times. “He puts (the ball) up the field. He’s as accurate on throws up the field as anyone I’ve seen in 15 years Just to fight through that last game after he had that ankle tore up. But what he did to Texas was unbelievable.”

But it’s not just Penix that Arians likes, either. In fact, he loves the entire class, and believes it might be the best true quarterback class in a decade.

“This might be the best group of quarterbacks that have come out in 10 or 15 years,” Arians said. “They’ve got guys running (the 40-yard dash in) 4.5 (seconds) and some guys slinging it. The passers are just amazing in this draft.”

Penix’s Sugar Bowl game is one that everyone should point to if they want the Steelers to land him.

He completed 28 of 36 attempts for 430 yards and two touchdowns against them, showing off his best traits. Penix has an identity as a guy who can run a little hot and cold at times, but there is no doubt he was on in this game.

His vertical passing ability stuck out as he made tight window throws downfield all game. The most impressive part of his game? His pocket movement. Penix’s calm movements allowed him to distribute the ball to his excellent playmakers efficiently. It could easily boost his draft stock sharply, though some questionable medicals will arise. But his vertical passing with George Pickens could become a real weapon if that’s the route Pittsburgh wants to go.