Adam Schefter says what all Falcons fans are thinking about Michael Penix

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Boise State Broncos at Washington

Few things can ruin the magical moment of being drafted into the NFL, but Michael Penix is already receiving his welcome to the NFL moment before he even arrives at training camp.

The Falcons threw everybody for a loop when they selected the Washington QB with the 8th overall pick, just weeks after handing Kirk Cousins a $180 million contract. Because of that, they are rightfully getting mocked by media pundits everywhere, which couldn’t be more unfair for Michael Penix Jr.

Several teams had Penix as a top 10 pick, and if it wasn’t the Falcons, somebody was going to take him in the top half of the first round. Had that happened, many media pundits would have praised the selection, including ESPN’s Adam Schefter. On Monday, the ESPN insider said on the Pat McAfee show that he had no issue with Penix going that high in the draft, but he does question the Falcons’ thought process, just like the rest of us.

I couldn’t disagree more with Schefter’s first point. If the Falcons wanted Penix that badly, there should have been no thoughts about moving back, especially if they only could have acquired a late-round pick. All that does is allow another team to potentially swoop in and steal your guy. Sure, it seems unlikely in hindsight that the Bears would have traded the 9th pick, but why even take that risk?

For example, the Jets glaring needs going into the draft were wide receiver and left tackle. Had the Falcons made a trade with the Jets to move back in the draft, and New York took Rome Odunze, who is to say the Bears wouldn’t have been open for business with the ninth pick, potentially trading it to a quarterback-needy team that could have taken Michael Penix right in front of the Falcons.

You don’t take that risk in any scenario if Penix is your guy. However, Schefter’s second point is what everybody is going to be talking about for a long time. If the Falcons were that enamored with Penix, who most believed would be available when they came on the clock, why did they pay Kirk Cousins $180 million?

The most logical conclusion is the Falcons hedged their bets. They believe in Penix but not enough to risk their jobs, which is why they went out and signed Kirk Cousins as well. The combination should keep the Falcons from experiencing the dreaded QB purgatory for a long time, but it’s difficult enough to win a Super Bowl when going all in. It’s even more challenging when one foot is already out the door.

Photographer: Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire


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