Picked by Redskins in 4th round (102 overall)
The need: When the Redskins drafted Cousins with in the fourth round, the immediate reaction was that they should have used the pick to address an area of need. Last time we checked, NFL teams need backup quarterbacks. Rex Grossman can fill the role but he is 31, on a one-year contract, and his propensity for turning the ball over does not make him an ideal guy to come off of the bench. Cousins was the third-best quarterback on the Redskins’ board and they simply thought they could not pass him up.
The fit: The scouts liked his decision making in the pocket and his coaches and teammates praised his leadership. That combination of talents make him an ideal backup quarterback. He is not as athletic a Robert Griffin III but few anywhere are and he should be able to step into Mike Shanahan’s offense fairly easily.
The depth chart: Griffin, as Shanahan said, “is the starter, period”. Grossman’s experience will probably keep him ahead of Cousins for the No. 2 job at the beginning of the season but Cousins has a shot to leapfrog Rex as the season goes on.
Cousins’ upside: There is no question that Cousins can develop into a starting NFL quarterback but where that might be is up in the air. Griffin is the Redskins’ future, although Cousins could serve as insurance if the unthinkable happens and RG3 is injured or doesn’t pan out. Or if he shows promise the Redskins could trade him in two or three years. And Cousins might have to wait for his contract to be up four years from now before he gets his opportunity.
Shanahan on Cousins: “So if you see a guy, a quality player that you can get in the fourth round like we did, that is one or two plays away from being the starter, hopefully it doesn’t happen, but you ought to be prepared if it does. Getting a chance to know [Cousins], to know what type of guy he is, to know what he brings to the table, I thought it was a steal for us at that position. With as many draft choices that we were able to get throughout the draft, I was pleased at the end result.”
Cousins on Cousins: “Well, I think I’m going to take one step at a time and right now my job will be to go into rookie minicamp and pick up on the playbook and work as hard as I can going forward to make the team, and then have an impact on that team. But certainly with Robert Griffin, there’s a lot of hope in him being the future. I’m just excited to be a part of the organization and do whatever I need to do to help that team win football games.”