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Falcons shock Vegas oddsmakers with out-of-nowhere Michael Penix Jr. pick



The Atlanta Falcons’ Michael Penix Jr. selection with the No. 8 overall pick in the draft shocked the NFL world – oddsmakers included. 

Penix’s draft position over/under before Thursday’s festivities was 32.5 on DraftKings, suggesting he was considered by Vegas bookies as a borderline first-round pick. 

Instead, the Washington quarterback went in the top 10, something that was hardly a consideration at most major sportsbooks. 

Penix was +750 pre-draft at BetMGM Sportsbook to go in the first ten picks. To be drafted at No. 8, specifically, Penix was a whopping 66/1 at BetMGM. 

The Falcons made Penix the fourth of five quarterbacks to be selected in the top ten and one of six to go in the first round – both of which were NFL Draft records. 

Penix leapfrogged J.J. McCarthy, who was picked by the Minnesota Vikings at No. 10, on the assumed QB pecking order – McCarthy was -130 to be drafted in the first five picks at DraftKings Sportsbook. 

Michael Penix #QB08 of the Washington Huskies speaks to the media during the 2024 NFL Draft Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 01, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getty Images

Atlanta now has some unforced drama to deal with after the blindside Penix pick. 

The team drafted Penix despite already having inked Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million contract this offseason.

The veteran quarterback Cousins was reportedly “a bit stunned” after the pick was announced. 

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Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot told reporters after the first round that Cousins would still be the starting quarterback heading into Week 1, but the team couldn’t pass up the opportunity to draft a player of Penix’s talent.  

“When you can add a high-caliber player like that with his intangibles, those tools — he’s a winner. Very, very excited. You don’t pass up that opportunity,” Fontenot said.

“Kirk Cousins is our quarterback. We’re very excited about Kirk, we’re very excited about our team. Michael Penix is, we’re talking about the future. The draft is — you look at the future and you look at big picture.”

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