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Senior Bowl Roundup Day 1: Washington QB Michael Penix is raising eyebrows

News, notes, and thoughts from Day 1 on Senior Bowl practices

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington Photo by CFP/Getty Images

Day one of Senior Bowl practices are done, and there were several players that made media and scouts go “Who is THAT guy” throughout the day. Here are my biggest takeaways from the first day of Senior Bowl practices.

Oregon C Jackson Powers-Johnson is as advertised

The dude is a tank. I don’t recall a rep that he lost, and in protection one-on-ones, he absolutely dominated. He looked good in team drills, as well, keeping the respective quarterbacks on the National Team clean.

If he falls to the Steelers in the second round, they should absolutely take him, but that looks less and less likely.

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr: Consider me intrigued

I’m torn on Penix because he made several throws today that made me want the Steelers to draft him. In one-one-ones. he threw a pass by a defensive back’s ear into the hands of his receiver downfield, but it was dropped. He also showed a ton of velocity on his passes, and looked good distributing the ball in team drills.

That said, the things I saw from him during the season that concerned me don’t just go away. I spoke with a scout today and they were pretty adamant on what they believe Penix to be.

“To me, he’s Tua with a bigger arm,” the anonymous scout said. “He still needs to get better at seeing the field well, and he folds when he sees any sort of pressure.”

And honestly, I’m in that boat, as well. Penix is a Day Two guy in terms of talent. He may go in the first round, but he’s a project that still has a lot of kinks. A project that throws a pretty ball when given the time, but a project nonetheless. Regardless, my eyebrow is raised.

Houston OT Pat Paul could be a Day Two steal

The Steelers need a left tackle. Whether that be Broderick Jones or someone else that’s brought in through the draft. I spoke to an anonymous player personnel member who said that Pat Paul out of Houston was the best pass blocking offensive tackle in this class- and that is including Notre Dame’s Joe Alt and Penn State’s Olu Fashanu.

Watching Paul, he is a lean 335- he carries that weight well. He had a really nice day in pass protection, and is athletic enough to also bounce outside in the run game. Pittsburgh could have their cake and eat it too by waiting on Paul, or even trading up in the second round to get him. A lot of good things were said about him by a lot of people.

I’m out on Oregon QB Bo Nix

I didn’t love Nix coming into this whole process. A guy who has been in college forever, doesn’t have a big arm, and had one year where played very well. Sound familiar? He didn’t do anything that really stood out athletically or to show that his arm is better than people were giving him credit for. No disrespect to Nix, but there’s a reason he was in college for five years. He isn’t a guy that will change a franchise’s fortune for the better.

Other notable nuggets

  • USC WR Brenden Rice (son of Jerry Rice) is a STUD
  • Western Kentucky WR Malachi Corley could be a hidden gem. Reminds me a lot of Tank Dell, but thicker.
  • Penn State CBs Kalen King and Johnny Dixon both had tremendous days. Dixon is a smaller guy that will likely only be a slot guy in the NFL, but he could be a good one