NFL insider tells great story of the moment Falcons knew they wanted Michael Penix Jr.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 08 CFP National Championship Michigan vs Washington

The negative press surrounding the Falcons for drafting Michael Penix Jr. 8th overall just weeks after handing Kirk Cousins $180 million is at an all time high. However, the Falcons brass knew that would be the case when they made the decision, yet it still didn’t waver their conviction in Penix, who they believe is a can’t miss prospect.

In a few years, we’ll know if they are right. NFL insider Jordan Schultz recently told a fantastic story of the moment they knew they could not pass up on Michael Penix if he fell to them in the draft.

Nobody can deny Penix’s arm talent. I agree 100% with Schultz; it was the best in the class, and I don’t even think it’s particularly close. He can throw the ball downfield with accuracy and is capable of fitting it into tight windows because of the incredible velocity on his passes. When it works, it’s a thing of beauty, reminiscent of some of the top passers the league has ever seen.

However, I can’t help but hear this story and think about Zach Wilson. Throwing balls on air without pads is not how quarterbacks should be evaluated. That’s how GMs end up filling out job applications. It’s part of the process, but it’s probably the least important part of the process.

Being a successful quarterback at the highest level is 90% about what’s above the neck. It’s the reason it is undoubtedly the most difficult position to project. It’s impossible to know what’s going through a quarterback’s head before, during, and after each play, or how they will respond to the adversity that will surely face them at the next level.

These kind of stories are fun to tell before Penix has even taken a snap in the NFL, but the arm strength is only part of the puzzle. If he can’t figure out the rest, this will go down as perhaps the worst draft pick in Falcons franchise history, one that will set them back for years.

Photo: Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire


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