Carolina Panthers fans rejoice after hilariously bemusing Falcons pick

Oh dear...
Roger Goodell
Roger Goodell / Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers didn't have a first-round pick, but fans watched on with hilarious amusement as one of their bitter NFC South rivals went down an unconventional route with their top selection. Something that made no sense whatsoever and caused complete chaos in the top 10.

Despite signing Kirk Cousins to a lucrative contract, the Atlanta Falcons went way against the grain by taking quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8 overall. To say this sent shockwaves through the NFL would be an understatement.

Penix is older than most quarterbacks emerging from the college ranks. He'll be 24 years old next month, so for him to become a development project behind Cousins when Atlanta had so many needs elsewhere was nothing short of astonishing.

Carolina Panthers fans rejoice in wasted Falcons pick

Spurning so much high-end talent in favor of a backup signal-caller who likely won't see the field until Cousins walks away from the game was a strange choice. But make no mistake, the Panthers will not be complaining whatsoever.

By the time Cousins' bumper contract concludes, Penix will be 28 years old. There's also the small matter of the Washington prospect's indifferent medical history to factor into the equation. This came out of the blue, especially considering the hype surrounding Michigan prospect J.J. McCarthy, who was younger and arguably has way more upside for any team planning on going down this route.

Penix is talented, there's no getting away from that. He's also the last thing Atlanta needs after they made such a significant investment in Cousins. The veteran is still playing well despite suffering a torn Achilles last season. The money attached to his contract indicates that the Falcons believe he can be the missing piece of their puzzle, which makes this pick even more bizarre.

Nobody in the NFC South will be looking at this pick with any fear attached. It's the best possible scenario for the Panthers and others within the division. Dan Morgan will be worrying about himself and Carolina's plans, but there was probably a wry smirk on his face when news of this pick entered the team's war room.

This makes no sense. At all. It's a succession plan, but for the length of Cousins' deal, the Falcons could have identified one in 2025, 2026, or maybe even 2027 if the former Michigan State star remains productive.

While the Panthers were undoubtedly worse last season, not having an elite first-round talent to worry about in Atlanta is yet another boost to a franchise looking to get back into the NFC South title picture sooner rather than later under Dave Canales.

No matter what happens, the joke is always on the Falcons.