Arthur Blank ‘loomed large’ in Falcons drafting Michael Penix

NFL: NOV 05 Vikings at Falcons

The Falcons stunned the NFL world when they drafted Michael Penix Jr. with their top pick a couple of weeks ago.

It gave that impression because just six weeks prior the club handed Kirk Cousins $180 million in free agency. Most expected Terry Fontenot to bolster the defense or even add another pass catcher to the fold.

As we distance ourselves from the first round, more comes to light about Atlanta’s process that led to the decision. One particular facet of the story that I find amusing is a viral video that depicted Terry Fontenot explaining something to Arthur Blank, sparking speculation that Atlanta’s GM was explaining to the organization’s owner why he picked Penix.

We know that’s not true, though. A report from Charles Robinson confirms Blank signed off on the decision to draft Michael Penix. Additional voices echoed similar sentiments.

Falcons former GM Thomas Dimitroff spoke to this in a recent interview with Kay Adams, telling the host of Up & Adams that, “There are never surprises for an owner like Arthur Blank…”

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN has taken it a step further, reporting that Blank loomed large in the decision to draft Penix. He “… fully endorsed long-term stability at the position…”

“Blank had two quarterbacks — Michael Vick and Matt Ryan — controlling his offense for the better part of two decades. Blank is not used to the QB carousel,” Fowler added.

The Falcons’ plan is obvious. Blank never wants to see the kind of product he saw the past two seasons with Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder. He’s clearly more invested in putting together a watchable product to sell tickets than he is in going all-in on one guy and ring chasing.

Of course, he wants to win a Super Bowl, but you’d be naive to believe there aren’t other motives.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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