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Falcons’ Michael Penix Jr selection appeared to have stunned Kirk Cousins, reports say

The Atlanta Falcons pulled off the biggest stunner of the first round of the NFL Draft by selecting Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth pick.

Last month, they signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million deal, leaving just about everyone to think that Penix wasn’t even an option there.

But, the Falcons apparently like the 24-year-old southpaw, as Cousins, 35, is coming off an Achilles injury.

Surely, your franchise quarterback is typically in the know about what would go on with a top-10 pick. But apparently, the Falcons and Cousins didn’t have many conversations about the pick.

During the NFL Network’s broadcast, Daniel Jeremiah said he got in touch with Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney, who told him the Falcons kept their plans of Penix under wraps from Cousins.

“Kirk Cousins was not given really a heads up on this whole thing,” Jeremiah said.

Michael Penix Jr. attempts a pass


ESPN refuted that report just a tad – McCartney told the outlet that “the only heads up the Falcons gave Cousins about picking…Penix was a call while the team was on the clock.”

The Athletic reported that Cousins “understood” that a quarterback would be considered, but he did not believe his successor would be taken in the first round – thus, the Penix selection left him “stunned.”

It was even more surprising, considering the fact that many had Penix as the presumptive fifth quarterback, as J.J. McCarthy turned out to be this year’s wild card. However, McCarthy was selected 10th by the Minnesota Vikings, who moved up a spot to get him.

Michael Penix Jr prepares for the combine

It is ironic that the Falcons took Penix as Cousins recovers from his own serious injury – he has torn his right ACL twice, once in 2018 and once in 2020 with Indiana, and he had a clavicle fracture in 2019 and an A/C joint separation in 2021.

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