Kirk Cousins Stunned by Falcons Drafting Michael Penix Jr at No. 8 in NFL Draft

Kirk Cousins
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There were six quarterbacks taken in the first eight picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, but the last of those six was a surprise. Instead of drafting an elite weapon for their new QB Kirk Cousins at No. 8 overall, they shocked the entire football world when they picked Michael Penix Jr, QB out of Washington.

Kirk Cousins stunned by Atlanta Falcons drafting Michael Penix Jr

But it wasn’t just those outside of the Falcons organization who were surprised by the pick. According to Dianna Russini (The Athletic) Kirk Cousins was also “a bit stunned” when he heard Penix Jr’s name called by Roger Goodell.

Kirk thought he was landing in a place where he was finally “the guy”. He spent the last month being paraded around Atlanta like the next king of strip joint chicken wings. Then, at the first possible opportunity, they turn around and draft his replacement.

Related: Minnesota Vikings Draft Grades, Pick-by-Pick Analysis

Cousins’ agent Mike McCarthy confirmed a bit later in the night that, like the rest of us, he and Kirk were gobsmacked by the Falcons’ decision to take Penix Jr and that they had no pre-warning whatsoever, even though a few insiders said Cousins did receive a call or warning at some point.

“Yes, it was a big surprise. We had no idea this was coming. The truth is the whole league had no idea this was coming. We got no heads up. Kirk got a call from the Falcons when they were on the clock. That was the first we heard. It never came up in any conversation.”

Kirk Cousins’ agent Mike McCarthy (via Mike Garafolo – NFL Network)

Meanwhile, his old team, the Minnesota Vikings, sat tight and waited until the last possible moment to finally initiate a trade. They moved up one spot, to No. 10 overall, and drafted their new franchise QB, JJ McCarthy (Michigan).


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