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The College Football Playoff National Championship stage is set, as Michigan and Washington will square off for a chance to become the final champion in a four-team format Monday. Each team has a quarterback prospect considered to be among the best in college football and a potential first-round selection.

Here is how Washington's Michael Penix Jr. and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy arrived at this point, as well as their strengths, weaknesses and draft outlook:

Michael Penix Jr., Washington

Penix is in his second season with the Washington program. A native of Tampa, Penix began his career in Bloomington with Indiana in 2018. Despite showing promise in his four years on campus, his unfortunate injury history will always leave Hoosiers fans wondering what may have been. Each of his first four seasons ended early due to leg injuries. 

Penix elected to transfer ahead of the 2022 season, and his Indiana offensive coordinator in 2019, Kalen DeBoer, happened to be in the market for a quarterback during his first season as a head coach in the Pac-12. Fortunately, the quarterback's injury history did not follow him to the Pacific Northwest. Penix has thrown for more than 4,600 yards and 30 touchdowns in each of his two seasons with the Huskies -- the most recent earning him recognition as a Heisman Trophy finalist.

In the College Football Playoff semifinal, he threw for 430 yards, which is the fourth-most in College Football Playoff history, and two touchdowns.

Penix will be making his second-career start against the Wolverines. While at Indiana in 2020, he led the Hoosiers to a 38-21 victory. In that setting, he threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns. 

The senior has shown arm strength capable of pushing the ball downfield all season. He consistently throws with as much touch and accuracy downfield as any quarterback eligible for the 2024 NFL Draft. While not known for his mobility, Penix has shown good pocket presence and enough athleticism to extend plays when the situation necessitates. His 2.1% sack rate is comparable to Oregon's Bo Nix but significantly better than each of the other prospects commonly mentioned under first-round consideration. Penix does a good job of leading his targets and giving them opportunities to make plays one-on-one against man coverage. 

The concerns stem from his injury history and the fact that he will be 24 years old shortly after draft night. His 32 carries this season are a mechanism to protect him from being unnecessarily exposed to further injury. The left-hander is a full body thrower like Baker Mayfield, which means his whole body is working to deliver throws downfield and away from pressure; it is not effortless power like North Carolina's Drake Maye, for example. 

As far as draft projection, Penix has firmly fit himself into the first-round conversation alongside McCarthy and LSU's Jayden Daniels, which translates to mid-to-late first-round consideration. USC's Caleb Williams and Maye are likely to be regarded as a tier above by NFL teams.

For more draft coverage, you can hear in-depth analysis twice a week on "With the First Pick" -- our year-round NFL Draft podcast with NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson and former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. You can find "With the First Pick" wherever you get your podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, etc. Listen to the latest episode below!

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

McCarthy was a 247Sports composite 5-star prospect and top-25 overall recruit out of Illinois as part of the 2021 recruiting class. In his career, he has compiled a 26-1 record as a starter, including 3-0 against Ohio State, with his lone loss coming in last year's College Football Playoff semifinal against TCU. If his team wins the national championship, he would have the third-highest winning percentage in college football history and the best since Chuck Ealey in 1971. 

McCarthy threw for 221 yards and three touchdowns in the College Football Playoff semifinal against Alabama. It was just the second time in his career that he has thrown for at least three touchdowns against a ranked opponent. 

The quarterback has been a consistent voice for a program mired in controversy this season. When head coach Jim Harbaugh was suspended following the in-person scouting investigation, McCarthy took ownership of the offense. He has a natural release and good arm strength to push the ball downfield. His 73.2% completion percentage during the regular season was third in the nation behind Nix and UAB's Jacob Zeno. 

McCarthy has thrown for 250-plus yards on four occasions this season: two such occasions were against Power 5 competition, and the average margin of victory in those four contests was 33.0 points. In four games against opponents ranked in the top 25 at season's end, McCarthy averaged 144 passing yards. The Big 10 offense utilizes a lot of pre- and post-snap motion, which gives the quarterback vital experience when making that transition to the next level. 

McCarthy throws with good touch but is inconsistent with his processing. There were moments in the semifinal where he should have thrown it sooner. The pass to Roman Wilson that set up the game-tying touchdown late in regulation was not on target but in a position where the defensive back was not expecting it. 

There is a lot to like about McCarthy's game, and I have championed his potential all season long, but he has yet to put it all together. He has the ability to become a top-10 selection in the NFL Draft down the road, but if he were to enter the draft now, then he is among that second tier of quarterbacks that includes Daniels, Penix and, perhaps, Nix. Similar to Will Levis a year ago, if he is the last quarterback taken among that tier, it could be the difference in millions of dollars in earnings. However, it takes one team to fall in love with a prospect, and that gives him a chance to go middle-to-late first round. 

Teams that could be in the market for a quarterback in that range include Las Vegas, Minnesota, New Orleans, Denver, Seattle and Pittsburgh.

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit. More draft coverage can be found at CBSSports.com, including the weekly updated draft ordermock drafts and a regularly available look at the eligible prospects