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Pick: Round 4, Pick 7 (102nd overall)
School: Michigan State
Vitals: 6’3”, 214 pounds
Prediction: Cousins will provide fantastic value to the Redskins in one way or another.
It is easy to question this pick, but Shanahan seems to know a little something about drafting two quarterbacks in the same year—the Broncos that he won a super bowl with did just that with John Elway and Gary Kubiak in 1983, and that seems to have worked out pretty well.
The first scenario is Cousins remaining a Redskin and backing up RGIII for years to come. There is no quarterback controversy in Washington, and Griffin is surely the starter, but in case of an injury Cousins is an excellent game manager who still fits the mold of a Shanahan-type quarterback.
Cousins is a good athlete and can throw on the run, and he has proven his leadership and work ethic as a three-year starter and captain at Michigan State. He is everything you want out of a backup—smart, athletic, and accurate on short- and medium-length throws.
These same positive traits will force teams to consider the possibility that Cousins has the potential to be a consistent starter, and the second scenario is the Redskins trading Cousins to a team ready for a change at quarterback (see, Jacksonville in six months).
Overall, it is a good sign that Shanahan is not happy having last year’s starter Rex Grossman as the Skins’ backup, considering he threw an interception in every game he played in last year. Backup quarterback was still a position of need, and Cousins may find himself one RGIII-injury away from stepping in at quarterback.