Atlanta Falcons spark controversy by drafting Michael Penix Jr. with 8th overall pick

The Atlanta Falcons have always found ways to bring the drama. Whether it was the Deion Sanders’ “2 Legit, 2 Quit” era of the early 1990s; the Michael Vick experience; or 28-3, the Falcons have cultivated the art of surprise when it comes to storylines in the NFL. 

The Dirty Birds didn’t disappoint on NFL Draft Night 2024. While fans found ways to stay warm on a brisk night in Detroit, the Falcons brought the heat. With the 8th overall pick, the Falcons selected quarterback Michael Penix Jr. from the University of Washington. 

Penix, a superb quarterback who threw 67 touchdowns in two seasons at Washington, has a high upside, but suffered two ACL injuries in college. He’s also 23 years-old. 

The biggest issue with drafting Penix is that the Falcons recently signed Kirk Cousins to a 4-year, $180 million contract. If Cousins plays the duration of the contract, Penix would be 28-years-old when he finally takes over as the starting quarterback. 

On the other hand, Penix is the perfect insurance policy for Cousins, a 36-year-old who is recovering from an Achilles injury. Penix will have an opportunity to learn from Cousins and takeover when the quarterback retires.  

Overall, the selection caused a stir online as the Falcons became the top trending team on social media. 


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