Thursday, May 16, 2024

Atlanta Falcons 2024 NFL power rankings post-draft roundup

Throughout the 2024 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a post-NFL draft roundup for the Atlanta Falcons in our consensus 2024 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 20

Most improved: Quarterback

The Falcons needed a quarterback so bad they got two. Free agent signee Kirk Cousins was leading the NFL in passing touchdowns (18) through eight games in 2023 when a torn Achilles tendon ended his season. Atlanta's QB combination of Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke threw for 17 TDs in 2023, with 16 interceptions. Only two quarterbacks since 2020 have thrown for more touchdowns than Cousins: Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. The Falcons also drafted Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 pick, but he doesn't figure to start, barring a health concern for Cousins, until 2026, at the earliest. -- Marc Raimondi -- Rank: 20

When the Falcons chose QB Michael Penix Jr. eighth overall, I chose not to freak out and react reflexively. I wanted to let the move marinate for a bit. Days later, I remain ambivalent, but I feel a little better about the idea. Kirk Cousins turns 36 in August. He's coming off a serious Achilles injury. That said, one would ideally be confident about a quarterback's health when committing as much money as the Falcons did to Cousins; in a perfect world, Penix won't see the field this season except in mop-up time. That's the toughest part to swallow for me when it comes to a team that acted like it was close to win-or-bust mode this offseason. Bill Belichick correctly pointed out during his live draft analysis for "The Pat McAfee Show" that having two good quarterbacks is seldom a bad thing. He's not wrong, of course. But compounding the whole issue is that I didn't love the remainder of the Falcons' draft class. I just don't know how to feel about any of this, honestly.

MORE: 2024 NFL Strength of Schedule

CBS Sports -- Rank: 20

Landing Kirk Cousins seemed to be the smart move, but then they drafted Michael Penix eighth overall. Cousins can't be happy about that and they didn't get better for the now by taking Penix.

USA Today -- Rank: 19

Seems like they have the best talent in the NFC South. But after a draft that can only be described as a fiasco, can QB Kirk Cousins — or shocking first-rounder Michael Penix Jr. — take this team where it hopes to go in 2024?

The Athletic -- Rank: 22

The talk of the draft, but not for the right reasons, the Falcons passed on their best chance to make the 2024 team better by drafting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 pick. It might turn out to be a genius move for the future, but it won't help this year with Penix sitting behind Kirk Cousins. The five front-seven defenders they drafted after Penix might help, though.

Fox Sports -- Rank: 17

The Falcons nearly won the NFC South with middling quarterback play last year, so the addition of Kirk Cousins gives them a legit shot to make some noise. I'm going to be confused about the Michael Penix Jr. pick for the rest of my life, but that doesn't change the fact that Atlanta could win 9-plus games in 2024.

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