2012 NFL Draft: 5 Reasons Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins Will Be a Star

JohnCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 5 Reasons Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins Will Be a Star

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    Leading up to the 2012 NFL draft, almost all of the talk about quarterbacks has surrounded Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.  Former Michigan State signal-caller Kirk Cousins has flown under the radar until recently. 

    Cousins has started to turn some heads with his performances at the NFL Combine and his pro day workout on Michigan State's campus. 

    While most agree that Cousins can be a solid backup in the league, he does have the potential to become a star. 

Big Ten Defenses

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    The Big Ten is a hard-hitting conference with a lot of strong pass-rushers. 

    Cousins has been able to succeed against the physical defenses in the Midwest, which are a good precursor to what he will see at the next level. 

    Playing against those defenses for three years in conference games will have Cousins prepared to face NFL defenses. 

Work Ethic

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    Cousins has a work ethic that is second to none. 

    Not a very highly-rated recruit coming out of high school, Cousins had to fight for playing time in college.  He beat out a highly-touted transfer in Keith Nichol for the starting job his sophomore year. 

    He is very focused and is a smart guy—he balanced football while being a pre-med student at MSU. 

Pro-Style Offense

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    Cousins has played in coach Mark Dantonio’s pro-style offense at Michigan State.

    This can play to his favor as he will not have to take the time to learn a new offensive system like some players do. 

    With a familiarity with a playbook similar to what he will get in the NFL, Cousins will be able to quickly transition into professional football.


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    Cousins was voted a team captain for his final three seasons in East Lansing. 

    Leadership is something that cannot be taught; it’s a quality that can be tough to come by.  A good leader can make up for what they lack in terms of skill with the ability to inspire the team in the toughest of times. 

    Cousins’ teammates trusted him enough and rallied behind him for three successful seasons.  At his recent pro day workout in East Lansing, Cousins directed his own workout rather than using a coach.  He is a natural leader and will bring his ability to guide a football team with him as he enters the NFL. 


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    Cousins “stood out” as the best quarterback at the NFL Combine in the passing drills, Russ Lande of the Sporting News wrote

    Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin and Ryan Tannehill did not throw, but Cousins still put on quite a show.  He is an accurate passer and has great footwork.  In his time in East Lansing, Cousins completed 64 percent of his passes.   

    His drat stock has been on the rise since the season ended.