NFL Twitter, AND Arthur Blank, Were Gobsmacked After Falcons Draft Michael Penix Jr. 8th Overall Despite Signing Kirk Cousins


The NFL is the greatest reality show on the planet. Thursday night’s draft is Exhibit A, Example No. 193582913584, however you want to articulate it, as to why that is. The Atlanta Falcons gave Kirk Cousins a $180 million contract this offseason to wrest him away from Minnesota.

Despite acquiring an additional first-round pick, the quarterback-needy Vikings didn’t budge from the 11th pick. Atlanta’s stunning selection of Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8 overall spurred Minnesota to trade up to the 10th pick to take Michigan’s JJ McCarthy.

Everyone expected McCarthy to be the next field general off the board after Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye. It was even reported during ESPN’s draft telecast that the Commanders, at No. 2 overall, had McCarthy as the runner-up to Daniels in terms of who had the most support in their building.

Did the Falcons do Minnesota a solid in a weird way? Only time will tell. Penix was my QB3 and 12th overall player (McCarthy: QB4/14th). Drake Maye is the one top signal-caller I’m not really enamored of, and the Patriots picked him at No. 3. We’ll see how that works out. Probably the toughest situation to go into among all these guys.

Anyway, Penix!? To Atlanta!? That’s awesome on one hand, but Captain Kirk must feel a type of way. Yes, Cousins is coming off a torn Achilles, but the Falcons had a chance to add a premier defensive player. They need somebody like that. A pass-rusher. Another cornerback opposite A.J. Terrell. Anything, really. But nope! Already getting a Cousins successor in place. Penix may not see the field as the full-time starter until, what, 2026? WILD.

Even Falcons owner, and Home Depot founder, Arthur Blank seemed very confused judging by this war room reaction:

I mean, the reactions rock, and again, this is exactly what makes the NFL so compelling.

You could argue this is somewhat similar to the Chiefs’ strategy of drafting Patrick Mahomes once upon a time, or when the Packers drafted Jordan Love. Kansas City had a capable veteran QB in Alex Smith at the time, while Green Bay had Aaron Rodgers.

Smith was gone after one year, and Mahomes has proceeded to win three Super Bowls. Rodgers got a little extra motivation, won back-to-back MVPs, peaced out to the Jets a full season later, and Love took the reins this past year. He led the Packers to the playoffs, and a huge win in Dallas at that.

Speaking of which…talk about foreshadowing.

I’m assuming the Falcons envision a similar scenario for Penix. When you look at Cousins’ contract a little closer, there’s a conceivable scenario where they trade him next offseason if he’s not up to snuff. They’d eat a lot of dead money in 2025, but save a lot against the cap the next two seasons.

In any event, holy sh*t. What a ballsy call by Atlanta’s brass. I don’t know what they’re thinking. Can’t wait to hear the press conference explanation for this one!

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock