With 102nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select Michigan State Quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Wait… the Redskins took ANOTHER Quarterback?! (Says the skeptics of the Redskins front office who can be found in just about every city in the country and on every social network known to man).
Yes, the Redskins did indeed select another Quarterback in the 2012 draft, who has starting potential, with a 4th round pick instead of filling another need. The draft rooms of every NFL team often debate the following 2 topics prior to selecting a player: Do we fill a high need position on our team? OR do we take the best player available? You can make a strong argument for both points of view, but in this instance the Redskins went with the latter.
If you have read my post, “What the Redskins Should Avoid this Season” you would understand how historically this is a bad move but, in this situation, it is a great move. Here is why:
Kirk Cousins had an impressive career at Michigan State and was expected to be an early 2nd round pick, however was still on the draft board in the 4th round. Once the Redskins pick came up, Shanahan saw Cousins as being a legitimate insurance policy stating: “You’re one or two plays away from being the starter,” Shanahan said. “And if I see that value out there on the third day of the draft, I’m going to take that.” Most can’t argue with his logic. RGIII is, without a doubt, the face of the Redskins franchise for the foreseeable future but having a quality backup can keep a team’s season alive even after an injury reminiscent of Brady early in 2008.
In summary, here are some reasons to like Cousins as a Redskins QB:
1) Cousins was, by far, the most talented player left on the board and has similar qualities to RGIII in terms of his leadership, work ethic, poise, and ability to grow. Being able to select a player with 2nd round talent in the 4th round is something most GMs wouldn’t pass up.
2) We all know that RGIII likes to run and running QBs take some hits. RGIII isn’t in the same category as Mike Vick, the young Donovan McNabb, Vince Young, or Tim Tebow in terms of scrambling but has been known to run around in attempt to extend the play and find open passing lanes, similar to Roethlisberger. Nevertheless, RGIII may take some serious hits and having depth at the QB position is wise especially since Rex Grossman would have been the number 2 guy.
3) Ideally, the best way to develop a rookie is by having a veteran quarterback who knows the playbook and is familiar with the system mentor them until they are ready to come in and start. It is expected that Grossman will be around for the upcoming season to help RGIII and mature since he is one of the few NFL quarterbacks that know the Redskins offense. It would be great for Griffin and Cousins to develop together in the system.
4) Without a doubt, RGIII is the Redskins franchise quarterback so there will not be any controversy but Cousins can become a reliable backup who can develop skills that can make him a great number 2. Also, if he does develop into a starting caliber quarterback, Cousins can be leveraged and ultimately traded so the Redskins can get more than a 4th round pick. This was the case with quarterbacks Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel, and Kevin Kolb who each presented a high return of investment for the franchises that developed and then traded them.
Overall, many have criticized the Redskins for making this pick but it presents a great opportunity for the rebuilding of the franchise in many different ways. So, Mr. Cousins, Welcome to DC!
Thanks for reading!
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