Mock draft has Raiders taking a Heisman finalist

mock draft has raiders taking a heisman finalist

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.

The Las Vegas Raiders (5-7) haven’t been eliminated from playoff contention, but they should mull drafting a quarterback in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

In his latest mock draft, Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports projected Las Vegas to select Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. with the 11th overall pick.

“The league has mixed opinions on Penix, who suffered two ACL injuries and two shoulder injuries at Indiana,” wrote Wilson. “That said, he’s been healthy — and incredibly productive — in two years at Washington, has a big arm and, more importantly, throws with accuracy.”

Through 13 games this season, Penix Jr. – recently named a Heisman finalist – leads the FBS in passing yards (4,218) and is tied for third in passing touchdowns (33). He has also guided the Huskies to their first College Football Playoff berth since 2016.

Scouts believe that the 23-year-old quarterback’s atypical mechanics could hamper him at the next level. His arm strength, however, downplays some of those concerns.

“Penix is a bit of a college football journeyman but is lighting up the scoreboard in 2023,” explained Pro Football Focus draft analyst Trevor Sikemma. “His combination of experience and high-end arm talent is propelling him. He has a bit of an unorthodox throwing style — from his lower body mechanics to his throwing motion — but can sling it.”

The Raiders – ranked 21st in the league in passing yards per game (201.3) – could use a signal-caller who can stretch the field and make big-time throws. The Raiders benched Jimmy Garoppolo after he tossed nine interceptions in six games. Rookie Aidan O’Connell, meanwhile, has struggled, posting a below-average 34.5 QBR and throwing more picks (six) than touchdowns (four) in six games.

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