Derek Carr and the Saints should be big fans of the Falcons drafting Michael Penix Jr.

The Atlanta Falcons recently made the head-scratching decision to draft Michael Penix Jr., but the New Orleans Saints aren’t complaining.
Apr 26, 2024; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons first round draft pick quarterback Michael
Apr 26, 2024; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons first round draft pick quarterback Michael / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

A lot happened during the 2024 NFL Draft but there was one selection that had everyone talking. The Atlanta Falcons used the eighth-overall pick to draft quarterback Michael Penix Jr. It was a move that left everyone confused since the Falcons just committed $180 million to Kirk Cousins over four years— another move that was confusing in its own right.

Either way, the Falcons used a premium top-10 pick to select a quarterback that could be riding the bench for the entirety of his rookie contract. While the confusing move left Falcons fans upset, the New Orleans Saints should be happy. More specifically, Derek Carr should be happy.

Falcons drafting Michael Penix Jr. is good for the Saints

Heading into the draft, everyone had Atlanta selecting a top edge rusher. The Falcons desperately needed help on the defensive line, so most mock drafts had them selecting Dallas Turner or Laiatu Latu. Once Atlanta was on the clock, both edge rushers were available. The Falcons decided to take Penix instead.

The criticism of the pick has nothing to do with Penix as a talent, it’s just unclear when he’ll make his debut. If Atlanta would have selected an edge rusher, the defender would have been able to make an impact from day one. The Falcons recorded just 42 sacks last season, 21st in the NFL. The top pass rusher in this draft class could’ve changed that.

The Saints aren’t complaining, though. They don’t have to worry about an elite pass-rushing talent taking over the division for the next decade. The Falcons did ultimately draft defensive linemen with their next three picks, but none as good of prospects that they could have drafted at No. 8. Now, the Saints, the Falcons, and everyone else, will wait and see when Michael Penix Jr. will actually start playing for Atlanta.