Kirk Cousins isn’t in Washington to take Robert Griffin III’s job. He’s a backup. Yet, he has stirred up more controversy than anyone in the draft. Let’s take a look at a few of the arguments concerning the Cousins pick.
1) The Redskins should draft best available
All I heard heading into the draft is that the Redskins need to draft the best available player. Where did all those voices go? Of course they are still around, but now they are up in arms because Shanahan actually did it. It’s not a good practice at all to bash the guy for not drafting best available and then bash him again when he does it. It seems everyone was so busy looking for a great quarterback in the senior bowl that they forgot who gave the best performance, Cousins. The guy is a smart player and an intelligent person. He’s more confident than John Beck and has better awareness on the field(Yes, Beck has no confidence regardless of what he says, remember the Bills game, ok) and more realistic than Rex Grossman (as well as more mechanically sound). Cousins has actually worked to improve his awareness and confidence.
Keep in mind that the senior bowl is the best gauge to see how college players will do against better competition, it’s a pro bowl in college and Cousins clearly had the best performance and Shanahan was right there to see it. So naturally he drafted cousins because he was available.
2) The Redskins don’t need a backup quarterback, they have Rex Grossman
Rex Grossman is terrible. He can’t run, he throws too many interceptions and he fumbles the ball. When a player can’t run out of bounds with the ball and tuck it away, he has issues. So stop telling me that Rex Grossman is a great backup. A backup has to have the ability to come into a game and keep the team from losing. Rex Grossman is skilled at losing ball games. He gives you the chance to lose. What’s that you say? He knows the playbook. So what, Kyle Shanahan has stated he doesn’t need a quarterback who knows the playbook as long as he has a full offseason to work with. So please stop going on about what a great backup Grossman is. Not only is he a terrible plan at backup, I wouldn’t want the guy having any influence on my two young quarterbacks.
3) There were better players available in the fourth round
Were there? Does anyone really know this yet? The folks who are saying this must not think Mike Shanahan knows what he’s doing? Take a look at some of the players he has drafted in the fourth round in the past. John Keim noted several here.
The fourth round has been pretty good to Shanahan. While it is very possible that there were better players available, he wanted to focus primarily on offense in this year’s draft, he saw Cousins available in the fourth round when he was supposed to be gone in the second, he looked at the players available and although he knew there were other positions needing attention, he could not pass up picking Cousins. Given his history of picks during fourth rounds of the draft, given he felt his players would be there in later rounds, I believe he felt like he picked the best player available.
With Cousins, Shanahan gets a young guy who has good skills and is very smart. Shanahan can mould Cousins into the type of quarterback he wants him to be.
It also would not surprise me, as we have seen the past two years, that late in the season Shanahan will make some roster changes and based on his play in practice Cousins will have learned enough to move from number three qb to number two. I’m sure drafting two quarterbacks, especially giving up so much for one of them looks odd to most people, but when you have to go through a season with John Beck and Rex Grossman as the only options at quarterback, you will do anything to never go back down that road. I say great job Mike Shanahan!
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