Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. earned strong praise for his performance in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) throws the ball against the Oregon Ducks in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The general consensus is that the Atlanta Falcons did something incredibly dumb when they used their first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft on quarterback Michael Penix, Jr.

While Penix is extremely talented, the Falcons just signed Kirk Cousins to a massive contract, and the 24-year Penix, who has a history of injuries, probably won’t even see the field for Atlanta until he’s at least 27 or 28, if that ever happens.

One former NFL player said it was “selfish” and “borderline disrespectful” for the Falcons to pick Penix, Jr. when they had so many pressing needs to compete in the coming years.

Not everyone hated the move, however. While Dan Orlonsky took to ESPN on Friday to praise the selection, former NFL general manager Steve Keim also had some positive things to say about the selection during an appearance on FS1’s The Herd.

“I actually love the pick,” Keim told Colin Cowherd. “Again, you just said it Colin, 35-year-old quarterback coming off an Achilles [injury]. And to me, Michael Penix, Jr. was the best natural, pure passer in this draft.”

“Smooth stroke. Tremendous anticipation. Great ball placement. I thought, again, you could talk about the injuries all you want, which, again, is forecasting. I can’t forecast all those injuries. But I can tell you right now from a pure passing standpoint, the guy’s exceptional.”

We’ll see how it all plays out for the Falcons with Kirk Cousins and Michael Penix, Jr. You have to imagine every decision, every comment, and every injury will be scrutinized in the coming years.

[The Herd]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.