Did the Atlanta Falcons draft for the wrong position with the #8 Overall Pick in the 2024 NFL Draft???(Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. to the “Dirty Birds)”

Falcons make awful draft decision with No. 8 overall pick
from Eric Smithling, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

The Falcons had their top pick for edge-rusher in their hands at No. 8 overall, but like a 28-3 lead in a Super Bowl, they blew it.

Atlanta threw the 2024 NFL Draft into chaos by selecting Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8 overall, passing on edge-rushers Dallas Turner and Laiatu Latu to draft a QB3.

The Falcons signed former Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins earlier this offseason and also have quarterback Taylor Heinicke on their roster.

Penix won’t play meaningful snaps for a Falcons team that is supposedly attempting to contend for an NFC South crown in 2024.

Atlanta desperately needed to address its pass rush whose most productive players last season were 2024 free agents Calais Campbell, 37, and Bud Dupree, 31.

Per Pro Football Focus, Atlanta graded 27th in pass rush last season.

Drafting Penix would have made more sense if the Falcons invested in their pass rush in free agency and did not spend $180 million on Cousins.

Talented edge-rushers were available, including Danielle Hunter, who had 16.5 sacks last season, and Jonathan Greenard, who finished 2023 with 11.5 sacks.

Penix could very well be a future starter, but it will be years before he gets a chance to show it.

The Falcons could have drafted an impact player for the 2024 season but instead landed someone at No. 8 overall who might not play for two to three seasons.

That sure feels like a wasted opportunity, and the type of move only a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2017-18 season would make.