Why the Atlanta Falcons did the smart thing by taking Michael Penix Jr.

It may not be the popular pick but it is the smartest pick for the future health of this Atlanta Falcons team.
NFL Combine
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Michael Penix Jr. is the newest member of the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons decided to build for their future instead of fortifying their defense and it was not the most popular move the franchise could have made.

However, that doesn't mean it wasn't the right move. I am here to adamantly say that the Falcons made the hard, yet correct decision by making Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth-overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Falcons made the smart, yet difficult decision by drafting Michael Penix Jr.

I commend the Atlanta Falcons, their front office, and the coaching staff for making this hard decision. Michael Penix Jr. is special, there are no two ways about it. The Falcons just made the right pick by taking the Washington quarterback.

While they don't get a player who is going to take the field in week one, they get a player who can be a top-five quarterback in this league. They just secured their future by taking Penix and even added some immediate insurance behind Kirk Cousins.

Penix was not for everyone. A team that was looking to start him in week one was best to look at someone like JJ McCarthy. The Falcons and Penix are a perfect fit.

Think about it, Penix is a pocket passer first and foremost. He wants to live inside the tackle box, much like Kirk Cousins and Matt Stafford (who worked with new OC Zac Robinson). He also needs to spend some time learning how to work over the middle more consistently, something Cousins can teach him.

Cousins is only going to be here for a few more years, at the most. Penix has the upside of a top-five, top-three quarterback. He gives them an option behind Cousins and a successor.

And for those who are looking at the defense and wondering where the help will come from, the Falcons still have three more top-100 picks. Think about all the helpful mid-round defensive players Raheem Morris helped draft with the Rams last year. Kobie Turner and Byron Young were great for them and they weren't first-round players. The Falcons are in a perfect position still.