Kirk Cousins concerned Falcons’ decision to draft Michael Penix Jr. doesn’t help team this season

Kirk Cousins concerned Falcons’ decision to draft Michael Penix Jr. doesn’t help team this season

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The Atlanta Falcons made a surprising selection taking former Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Among those shocked by the selection was their current projected starting quarterback, Kirk Cousins.

The Falcons called Cousins when they were on the clock to let him know they were taking Penix, his agent, Mike McCartney, told The Athletic. When Cousins signed with the team this offseason, the Falcons told him they would be drafting a quarterback in the later rounds of this draft. He was stunned when they took one in the first round, and Cousins’ biggest concern is that the pick doesn’t help the team for the upcoming season.

Part of the reason Atlanta selected Penix is that it believes it won’t have a top pick in coming drafts with Cousins under center the next few years, a team source told The Athletic.

The Falcons signed Cousins this offseason to a four-year deal worth $180 million, including $100 million guaranteed. The 35-year-old quarterback is recovering from the torn Achilles tendon he sustained in Week 8 last season. Cousins said at his introductory news conference in March that he could take drops and make passes, but if added, “I think the minute I would have to leave the pocket is where you’d say, ‘Yeah, he’s still recovering from an Achilles.’”

Opinions varied on Penix

I didn’t think the Falcons would use the eighth pick for Penix, that’s for sure, but I do think Penix was a really interesting prospect in this draft.

Two former head coaches with strong track records were among the people I spoke with during the draft process who had Penix as their No. 2 quarterback in this draft, behind Caleb Williams. It seemed like very few people agreed with this assessment.

My feel during Super Bowl week was that Penix would be gone by the middle of the first round, but the recent chatter surrounding him made me feel like that was a stretch. With quarterbacks, there can be great volatility. If a team loves one, the team should take him. And when teams feel set at the position already, they simply do not select them most of the time. That is how someone like Penix can go earlier than expected while an Aaron Rodgers waits longer than expected.  — Mike Sando, National NFL writer

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(Photo: Jorge Lemus / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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