NFL rumors: Falcons’ Michael Penix Jr. interest an eye-opening twist after signing Kirk Cousins

Atlanta just picked up a new QB, but they might still want to take Penix Jr. with the eighth pick.

NFL rumors: Falcons’ Michael Penix Jr. interest an eye-opening twist after signing Kirk Cousins

Michael Penix Jr. was one of the best players in college football last season as he led Washington football all the way to the national title game. Penix Jr. was tough to stop up to that point and he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Now, he is taking his talents to the NFL, and we will find out where he goes soon as the NFL Draft gets going on Thursday. One team to keep an eye on is the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons recently signed quarterback Kirk Cousins to a deal, but we all know that Cousins is past his prime and that he is going to retire soon. Atlanta has the #8 pick in the NFL Draft this year, and they could get the opportunity to pick their next franchise QB.

“Multiple people have told me this week that they believe the Falcons like Penix a lot,” Jeremy Fowler wrote in an ESPN article. “Enough to take him No. 8 overall? That’s hard to say. But he’ll likely be long gone by the time the Falcons are on the clock again at No. 43. Quarterback isn’t an on-paper need for Atlanta after the Kirk Cousins signing. But general manager Terry Fontenot hasn’t drafted a quarterback in the first two rounds of any of his first three drafts. Falcons brass, including Fontenot and coach Raheem Morris, flew all the way to Seattle to watch Penix work out for a few hours, then flew home. No dinner, no stayover. Penix has enough interest that the top 15 isn’t off the table for him. The safe pick for Atlanta would be to go defense, but it has done enough QB homework to make it a plausible move at some point in the draft.”

A lot of people thought that Michael Penix Jr. should’ve won the Heisman Trophy last season. He is clearly an exceptional talent, but he has had some injury trouble and he is older than a lot of QBs in this class. Still, he should end up being a high draft pick, and he could end up with the Falcons.


The Falcons could also take Byron Murphy II

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) tries to evade Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) during the second quarter of the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Caesars Superdome.

Another player to watch for the Falcons is Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II. Murphy had a nice season for the Longhorns last year as he racked up five sacks, and he should be hearing his name called pretty early on in the NFL Draft. One AFC scout is expecting Murphy to go in the first half of the first round, and Atlanta could be his destination.

“Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II is considered a riser in the process, but as one veteran AFC scout told me, ‘He hasn’t risen — he’s always been in the top half of the first round for me,’” Fowler wrote. “One NFC official believes Murphy going as high as No. 8 to Atlanta is a possibility.”

It’s going to be interesting to see what the Falcons do. There are a lot of different ways that they can go with this pick as they need help in multiple areas. We’ll see if Michael Penix Jr. or Byron Murphy II end up in Atlanta.

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