Jan 6, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) talks to the media during media day before the College Football Playoff national championship game against the Michigan Wolverines at George R Brown Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The mainstream media has brought a lot of coverage—and a lot of revenue—to Colorado. But despite the coverage that can sometimes be a bit over-the-top, there’s not a lot of love lost between Deion Sanders and the media. The Colorado head coach, who previously suggested some teams might leak negative information about draft prospects, recently challenged how “mainstream media and draft experts” have evaluated Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. for the 2024 NFL Draft.

“I can’t stand the way the main stream media and draft experts have look over, look by & looked pass MICHAEL PENIX JR. This is ridiculous. This young man had a GREAT year and 1 average game vs the #1 defense in college football. SOMEBODY stand up & tell the Truth plz. #CoachPrime”

Following his criticism of media coverage, Sanders commended Robert Griffin III for his analysis of Penix. Griffin lauded Penix as the “best pure passer” in the draft class, comparing his arm strength to the fictional character Piccolo’s “special beam cannon” from Dragon Ball Z.

Sanders has a point. Penix hasn’t come up in most discussions about the NFL Draft’s top quarterback prospects, while J.J. McCarthy has somehow found himself being considered as early as No. 3 overall by the New England Patriots. Despite winning a national championship at Michigan, McCarthy’s college stats pale in comparison to Penix. That’s not to say that he isn’t a better prospect when all things are considered, but his ranking as a prospect is solely based on his potential and traits, while Penix’s production tends to speak for itself.

He’s coming off a season in which he led Washington on an undefeated run, culminating in a national championship appearance. Statistically, it was his best season ever, completing 65.4% of his passes for a staggering 4,903 yards and 36 touchdowns with only 11 interceptions.

The National Championship Game stage proved a tough test for Penix. Though he battled valiantly against Michigan’s vaunted defense, the No. 1 unit in the country, he finished the game 27-of-51 for 255 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Sanders has pointed to Penix Jr.’s performance in the title game as a reason why some “mainstream media and draft experts” might be undervaluing his overall talent as a draft prospect.

With Thursday’s 2024 NFL Draft approaching, it’ll be interesting to see where Penix lands and if his performance against Michigan truly overshadows one of the better seasons we’ve seen from an accomplished Power Five starter. Sanders’ fiery defense has certainly thrown a spotlight on the Washington product, and it will be up to NFL teams to decide if Penix is a prospect whose potential hasn’t fully translated.

[Deion Sanders on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.