Lions Pressed to Target ‘Live Arm’ QB as Jared Goff Successor

Jared Goff Michael Penix Jr.

Getty NFL writer Tim Weaver predicted the Detroit Lions to target quarterback Michael Penix Jr. as Jared Goff's successor in his latest NFL mock draft.

A lot of pundits have argued that quarterback Jared Goff played well enough the past season and a half to earn a hefty new contract extension from the Detroit Lions. Seahawks Wire’s Tim Weaver didn’t necessarily disagree, but he still argued the Lions should target Michael Penix Jr. as Goff’s successor.

Weaver predicted the Lions to grab Penix at No. 29 overall in his latest 2024 NFL mock draft.

“After his performance at the combine, it seems unlikely Michael Penix will last until Day 2 now,” Weaver wrote. “Detroit pulls the trigger at this spot, finally giving them their successor to Jared Goff. Penix getting to work in Ben Johnson’s offense could be something special.”

Penix’s performance at the Washington Huskies pro day could certainly be described as special. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, scouts clocked Penix under 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He also displayed his arm strength, tossing the ball around 75 yards in the air for a completion.

Bleacher Report’s Derrik Klassen argued that any team who aims to strike often down the field and use a lot of play action will be attracted to Penix.

“His live arm, aggressiveness and moments of progression passing give him a shot to stick in the NFL,” wrote Klassen.

Could the Lions Target QB Michael Penix Jr?

If Klassen’s assertion is correct, the Lions could easily be interested in Penix.

During the 2023 regular season, Goff had 135 dropbacks while using play-action from under center according to Yahoo Sports’ Doug Farrar and Greg Cosell. That was, by far, the most in the NFL.

It was a huge part of Detroit’s 2023 success on offense. Goff posted a 116.1 passer rating on play-action dropbacks.

Goff wasn’t among the leading quarterbacks in passes of 30 or 40 yards downfield. But he was second among all signal callers with 69 attempts that traveled at least 20 yards.

With that in mind, Penix appears to be a great fit for Ben Johnson’s offense.

“The Huskies’ offensive design helped declutter coverages for Penix, allowing him to throw a higher number of intermediate and deep passes,”’s Lance Zierlein wrote. “Penix has plenty of arm but needs to work with more consistent timing between the numbers to eliminate unnecessary contested throws.”

Still, it would be very surprising if the Lions targeted Penix in the NFL draft.

Goff just experienced one of the best seasons of his career, and he doesn’t turn 30 until October. The Lions also drafted Hendon Hooker in the third round last season. Drafting Penix would be a sign that the Lions are giving up on Hooker as a potential future starter or reliable backup after one year.

Hooker might not even have a roster spot in 2024 with Detroit if the Lions selected Penix. The Lions brought back veteran quarterback Nate Sudfeld on a 1-year contract on March 27. That gives them three current quarterbacks.

Penix told ESPN on March 28 that he has pre-draft visits scheduled with five teams. The Lions are not one of them.

Extension Still Coming for QB Jared Goff?

The Detroit Free Press’ Jared Ramsey wrote on March 8 that the Lions could sign Goff to a long-term extension “any day now.” It still hasn’t happened. But the expectation that it will occur hasn’t really changed.

“The first thing that people might think is that the two parties aren’t coming to an agreement on terms,” wrote AtoZ Sports’ Mike Payton. “Maybe they’re far apart on them; maybe the Lions aren’t as serious about Goff as we thought they were. Maybe they’ll just wait until next year.

“I don’t think any of that is what’s happening right now. The reason is that history tells us that both the Lions and Goff’s agent tend to get these things done later instead of sooner.”

Payton pointed to the team’s contract extension with center Frank Ragnow as a recent example. The Lions and Ragnow didn’t agree to his new extension until May during the 2021 offseason.

If the Lions truly intend to make Goff one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league, (there’s little to suggest this isn’t their plan), then it seems highly unlikely they would also target Penix in the first round.

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