Lead NFL Insider for NFL on CBS, Jonathan Jones recently released his first mock draft of the season a week before the start of the 2024 NFL draft. The Atlanta Falcons have been tabbed as the most likely landing spot for the first defensive player to come off the board.

That is not the case here.

Jones had Atlanta taking Washington quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. with the eighth overall pick to learn and develop behind starter Kirk Cousins.

The Washington QB has been rising lately, and I believe he’ll be drafted in the first dozen picks no matter what happens next week. The Falcons paid a lot of money to a 36-year-old quarterback coming off an Achilles injury in a deal they can get out of in two years if they must.

This is the latest instance of a shift from defense to quarterback when discussing the Atlanta Falcons and their first-round pick. NFL analyst Brian Baldinger released an odd yet auspicious video last week discussing Atlanta’s potential to take a quarterback in the first round

Penix throws one of the more beautiful balls in this class and has risen up draft boards recently from early day two to maybe slipping into day one. That said, there is no reason the Falcons should take Penix with the eighth overall pick. If he is there at 43 or you want to trade up with a package of day-three picks possibly, there is an argument. There is no argument to take Penix with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft.

Penix is already 24 and will not play for at least another two years with Cousins in the fold. Atlanta Is not in a position to take a quarterback in the top ten, not with needs at premier positions such as edge rusher, cornerback, wide receiver, etc.

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