Arbella Early Edition

Perry, Curran react to Pats meeting with Michael Penix Jr.

The Washington QB is widely expected to be a second-round draft pick.

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The New England Patriots are doing their due diligence as they search for their next franchise quarterback.

With the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Patriots primarily have been linked to top QB prospects Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, and J.J. McCarthy. ESPN's Adam Schefter recently reported that with the Washington Commanders likely to take Daniels No. 2, New England is likely to choose between Maye or McCarthy. But what if they aren't sold on either option?

To cover all their bases, the Patriots are reportedly meeting with Washington QB Michael Penix, who's widely considered one of the second-tier QB options in this year's draft. Our Phil Perry and Tom E. Curran shared their instant reactions to that news during Monday's Early Edition.

"Really interesting, because he's not in that class in terms of being a high-end first-round pick. That's not how he's considered by the league," Perry said. "And so, now they're broadening their search, and I wonder if they're broadening it because there might be some of that same disagreement, lack of consensus, that Tom and I had off the very top of the show on J.J. McCarthy.

"If they think, 'The best thing for us if we can't get settled on one guy at three overall, if we do end up trading back, now we're open to the second tier of quarterbacks whether it's Michael Penix or Bo Nix, or maybe even further down the line Spencer Rattler, people like that.'"

While Penix comes with plenty of risk, and a first-round selection might be a reach, Perry acknowledges his high upside.

"He comes with a variety of concerns," Perry said of Penix. "He is off the charts in terms of the intangibles stuff. Tough, he's been through a lot personally, he's dealt with two season-ending knee injuries, two season-ending shoulder surgeries. So all kinds of grit there and he's played some really high-level football the last couple of years, but there's a lot that makes him a second-round prospect as opposed to a high first-round prospect like some of these other guys."

Curran believes Penix's toughness makes him an intriguing option for Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo and de facto general manager Eliot Wolf. Penix could be among the top QBs available for New England if it opts to trade the No. 3 overall pick for a haul of assets.

"When Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf discussed all the quarterback prospects, they talked about the toughness and it's absolutely indispensable to have physical and mental resilience when they get here," Curran said. "So Penix to me, if you end up trading down and getting Michael Penix and having artillery to fill wide receiver, offensive tackle, cornerback, edge, all those places or most of them, that's awesome. That's great.

"In many ways, the Patriots should not be able to go wrong in this draft. They could screw it up after the player gets here, but the player they select is going to be worthy of being an NFL starting quarterback."

Day 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25.

You can hear everything Perry and Curran had to say about Penix Jr. in the video player above.

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