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The award for most surprising pick during the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft definitely goes to the Atlanta Falcons, who shocked everyone on Thursday night by taking Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth overall pick

The Falcons were so secretive about their choice that they didn't even let Kirk Cousins know that it was going to happen. During the draft broadcast, NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah revealed that Cousins and his camp had no idea the Falcons were going to take a quarterback with their first pick. 

Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney, made it clear, via NFL Network, that the Penix pick came as "a big surprise."

"We had no idea this was coming. The truth is the whole league had no idea this was coming. We got no heads up. Kirk got a call from the Falcons when they were on the clock. That was the first we heard. It never came up in any conversation."

The Falcons tried to make things right by calling a stunned Cousins to tell him about the pick while they were ON THE CLOCK, but that didn't help things, according to The Athletic. Cousins was left "shocked" and "disappointed" by Atlanta's decision to take a quarterback, according to NFL Media

It's easy to understand why Cousins was so surprised. The Falcons just signed him to a four-year, $180 million contract back in March, so he had every reason to think that he was going to be Atlanta's undisputed starting quarterback over the next few years, but now, the Falcons have thrown a wrench into things. Cousins' contract only includes $90 million in guaranteed money, so the Falcons will be able to get out of it after just two seasons if they decide they want to move on to Penix. Not to mention, Penix is also a solid insurance policy for Cousins, who missed most of the 2023 season with a torn Achilles. 

The decision to take Penix with the eighth overall pick was a bold move by the Falcons, but it was a move that could certainly end up creating some drama in Atlanta.