Recent report reveals Vikings interest in Michael Penix Jr. is very real

Former Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.
Former Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The departure of Kirk Cousins should have made it clear, but the Minnesota Vikings are expected to use an early-round selection in this year's NFL Draft on one of the top quarterback prospects.

Many have connected the Vikings to former North Carolina passer Drake Maye and former Michigan signal-caller J.J. McCarthy, but the team also seems to be making sure they're evaluating a number of other quarterback prospects as well.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Minnesota held a private workout with former Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. after his Pro Day at Washington. Well, according to Bleach Report's Jordan Schultz on Thursday, we now know that Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah were in attendance for their private workout with Penix.

How real is the interest in Michael Penix Jr. for the Minnesota Vikings?

If we have learned anything about Minnesota during their existence as a franchise, it's always a good idea for them to have a backup plan when it comes to just about anything they're attempting to accomplish.

For now, that's what this seems like.

Maye and McCarthy still seem to be the quarterback prospects at the top of the Vikings' draft board, but just in case they are unable to land either of them, then they're making sure they are still doing their homework on some of the other passing prospects in this year's draft pool like Penix.

Minnesota's interest in the former Washington quarterback could also be a smoke screen. We're currently in the final stretch of weeks before the 2024 NFL Draft gets underway, and teams like the Vikings are going to do whatever they can to put themselves in the best position to land the prospect they desire the most.

Still, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Minnesota actually wound up with Penix in this year's NFL Draft. Not only would the Vikings be getting a solid young quarterback, but it would probably mean that the team gets to hold onto both of their 2024 first-round picks and their first-round selection in 2025 as well.

The biggest question mark surrounding Penix is really his durability. During his college career, he suffered multiple significant injuries, and whoever ends up drafting him will be hoping those injuries don't come back to haunt him.

If Minnesota misses out on Maye and McCarthy, are they willing to take that risk on Penix? The Vikings might not have a choice, but at least they're making sure they know what they might be getting themselves into by meeting with the former Washington quarterback up close and personal this offseason.

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