One bold NFL prediction for Falcons No. 8 overall pick Michael Penix Jr. in 2024

Will Michael Penix Jr. get on the field in 2024?
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout - Michael Penix Jr.
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout - Michael Penix Jr. / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Atlanta Falcons created quarterback controversy when they drafted Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.  A pick that would’ve made more sense had the franchise not have signed Kirk Cousins in free agency is a decision that will be under the spotlight the next couple of seasons, especially if Cousins does not lead the offense as expected.

Was it a smart move for the Falcons since Cousins is coming off an Achilles injury?  Selecting the former Washington Huskies quarterback is a nice security blanket, but if the Falcons didn’t believe in the health of the veteran quarterback, would they have shelled out a four-year, $180 million deal with $100 million guaranteed?

The Falcons make a play for the future in drafting Michael Penix Jr.

It may not be about Cousins, but more about assuring the Falcons have a successor to Cousins.  Given the age of the two quarterbacks, that could come sooner rather than later and by having Penix Jr. learn behind a veteran QB, the Falcons could be positioning themselves to make a big decision down the road. 

Either Penix Jr. is the next guy, or they can use him in a trade if Cousins is still at the top of his game.


But that’s a decision to be made down the road.  As of now, Penix Jr. is excited to learn from a veteran like Cousins as the two begin forming a relationship that should benefit both quarterbacks.

“I’m super, super blessed to be able to be right here in this position right now, obviously with a veteran in front of me,” Penix said during rookie minicamp back in May.  “Just learning from him and going about my business each and every day.  Just trying to find ways to improve and get to where he is: multiple years in the league.  That’s what I want.”

While there were some initial rumblings about a beef between Cousins and the Falcons over the surprise selection of Penix Jr., the veteran has been saying the right things.  He sees it as a motivator and fuel to be the best he can be.  He realizes competition is healthy and if approached the right way can only benefit the team.  In this case, the future of the team.

Penix Jr. will put his stamp on the 2024 NFL season…somehow

So, if Penix Jr. isn’t expected to steal Cousins’ starting role anytime soon, what is the bold prediction for the rookie quarterback in 2024?

Well, the football gods always find a way steer a storyline during the season.  The Falcons selecting Penix Jr. as the fourth QB taken in the 2024 NFL Draft will somehow play a role in the 2024 season.  You know this right?

It won’t be based on performance, but Penix Jr. will get a couple of starts in the regular season due to Cousins going down with an injury.  It won’t be a season ending injury, but the way Penix Jr. comes in takes command of the offense will cause the media and Falcons fans to wonder if the team is better off going with the young quarterback or sticking with Cousins once he is healthy.

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The ultimate decision will be to go with the veteran to play out the season in which the Falcons will make the playoffs.  But the play of Penix Jr. during his opportunity to play will set the stage for an interesting offseason for the Falcons in 2025.