Skip to main content

Powered by On3

Joel Klatt claims Michael Penix Jr. would be an instant upgrade over Tua Tagovailoa

Nick Profile Picby:Nick Geddes03/26/24


John David Mercer | USA TODAY Sports

Should Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. go in the first-round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Joel Klatt believes the Miami Dolphins, who own pick No. 21, would be an ideal landing spot.

Yes, the Dolphins have Tua Tagovailoa, but the FOX Sports analyst feels that Penix would be an “immediate upgrade” over the Miami signal-caller, he said Monday on “The Joel Klatt Show.”

“I love Michael Penix so much throwing the ball down the field,” Klatt said. “I love his timing and ability to control from the pocket so much. Love his ability to throw with leverage so much, I don’t think that this gets talked about enough when we talk about quarterbacks is are you putting your wide receiver in a position to have better odds than the defensive back? How many times are you making your wide receiver catch a 48% ball versus a 52% ball? That’s what I mean by leverage.

“When I watch Penix throw the ball and I’m talking down the field, the ball is always opposite the defender. And the wide receiver is always in a position where his odds are greater. And so, from that point, I start thinking about the offenses, the play callers and the personnel in the NFL and it’s like if I wanted to pick one spot where I think he would immediately and not only make them better but flourish, I cannot stop thinking about Miami. I cannot stop thinking about Miami. … I think he’s an upgrade — I think he’s an immediate upgrade.

“There is not a doubt in my mind that he throws the ball better down the field and more accurately, and with more power, and tempo, and pace than Tua right now. And that doesn’t mean Tua doesn’t have a spot in the league. Tua would be better for Sean Payton. In a lot of respects because of what Sean Payton likes to do with more a point guard style quarterback.”

Michael Penix Jr. readying for 2024 NFL Draft

Penix, 23, is coming off an outstanding season with the Huskies, in which he finished second in Heisman Trophy voting. He threw for 4,903 yards, 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 65.4% passing. Penix led Washington to an undefeated regular season and Pac-12 championship, and helped the Huskies defeat Texas, 37-31, in the College Football Playoff Semifinal. Washington failed to win the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, falling to Michigan, 34-13.

Penix dealt with injuries during his time at Indiana before transferring to Washington ahead of the 2022 season. Penix tore his ACL in 2018 and again in 2020.

Tagovailoa, 26, just compiled his best season to date in the NFL. He paced the league with 4,624 yards to go along with a career-high 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on 69.3% passing. Most importantly, Tagovailoa suited up and started all 17 games this season after missing four games last season with a concussion. Miami went 11-6 before falling in the AFC Wild Card Round to the Kansas City Chiefs.