Atlanta Falcons reasoning behind draft Michael Penix Jr. is clear

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / CFP/GettyImages

The selection of Michael Penix Jr. is going to continue to face criticism and questions heading into the 2024 season. Rightly so when you spent $180-million on Kirk Cousins and gave the veteran the same number of years as a rookie contract. The question that is going to be continually thrown Atlanta's way is if you love Penix Jr. this much why did you sign Kirk Cousins?

Answering that question should be left for another time. For now, let's look at why the move does make a level of sense even if it was the wrong decision. The hiring of Raheem Morris was partly based around the head coach telling the front office that he warned them about not having a backup plan behind Matt Ryan.

Whether it was on the front office or the owner the Falcons burned the bridge with Matt Ryan not letting him know they were moving on chasing Deshaun Watson. Ryan was traded to the Colts and the Falcons thankfully failed to land Watson only to find themselves stuck with Marcus Mariota.

Arthur Smith's ego wouldn't allow the obvious desperation at quarterback to factor into either of the next two years. Smith fully believed he could turn Mariota or Desmond Ridder into capable starters and it cost Atlanta two lost seasons. They were wasted years that Atlanta could have had Matt Ryan still starting a quarterback learning behind him.

This is the complete argument for why the team drafted a quarterback behind Penix Jr. it is the fear of ever being in that situation again. They believe the rookie can be developed into a franchise option with 2-3 years sitting behind Kirk Cousins and adjusting to the league.

It isn't a horrible plan and makes a level of sense though it ignores the chance to add a starter to a potential playoff team. Atlanta is more focused and content on quarterback stability than doing everything they can to win right now.

Atlanta taking Michael Penix Jr. 8th overall is all about where the franchise has been and how they fumbled away the stability that Matt Ryan brought. Drafting Michael Penix Jr. is an attempt to remedy that mistake and set up a decade of quarterback stability.