Michael Penix Jr. had a strong combine, helping his draft stock. A three-time Super Bowl champion feels Penix has always been this good. Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Aug 13, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Kenjon Barner (38) runs with the ball as Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Benito Jones (95) tackles during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kenjon Barner, who won three Super Bowls in his career doesn’t get why Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr.’s draft stock had suddenly risen. But Barner is not a harsh critic of Penix. Far from it.

Quarterbacks took the stage at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday. Penix had a strong showing, which likely helped his draft position and certainly helped his standing in the eyes of talent evaluators.

Barner doesn’t quite get it. In Barner’s eyes, Penix is the same quarterback now that he was throughout the season and those now praising him are late to the party.

“I don’t get the sudden hype around Michael Penix jr he’s been him and was him all season long,” Barner tweeted on Saturday night. “This why I say scouts don’t actually watch football games, if you’ve watched this guy play at all this season you’d understand why @UW_Football was what it was! #bestqbinthedraft”

Barner has a point. The combine, while helpful, can also be overblown. There are numerous examples of players who had great combines but couldn’t make it big in the NFL — and vice versa.

Penix had a tremendous season for Washington in 2023, completing 65.4% of his passes for 4,903 yards with 36 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 157.1 passer rating (106.7 with the NFL formula). He also led the Huskies to an undefeated regular season, a Pac-12 title and a spot in the National Championship Game, which they lost to Michigan.

Penix does have two things working against him. One is that he’ll be 24 in May. By contrast, Drake Maye and Caleb Williams will be 22 at the start of the 2024 season. Two is that he’s left-handed, which provides a potential challenge to offensive coordinators.

[Kenjon Barner on Twitter/X]

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