Kirk Cousins: Rookie QB Validates Questionable Draft Pick with Impressive Win

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Kirk Cousins: Rookie QB Validates Questionable Draft Pick with Impressive Win
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

"With the 102nd pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Washington Redskins select Kirk Cousins, quarterback, Michigan State."

Huh?

When the Redskins used a fourth-round—ask the Seattle Seahawks, who took K.J. Wright in the fourth round last year, or the Jacksonville Jaguars who took Cecil Shorts, how valuable that pick can be—pick on Cousins in this year's draft, it was a move that was met with loads of criticism. 

The 'Skins had already taken Robert Griffin III, the projected savior at the QB position. After a season in which they had won just five games, there were still plenty of holes to fill.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Why waste a treasured pick by taking a backup?

Well, this is why. 

After Griffin went out with a nasty knee injury last week and couldn't "Leftwich it" on the final drive, Cousins came in and quietly completed both of his passes—including a touchdown to Pierre Garcon—and then ran in the two-point conversion to send the game into overtime, where Washington would win. 

There was still panic, however, when it was revealed that Cousins would start on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns

All the rookie did was complete 26 of his 37 throws for 329 yards, two scores and a pick for a QB rating of 104.4. He also showed some flashes of RGIII (OK, not really...OK, not at all) with three carries for 22 yards. 

Cousins started off slow, but he quickly settled in and drew rave reviews for his play from ESPN's Trey Wingo:

And from NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah:

And from lots of others

What should the Redskins do with Cousins?

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The Redskins are now in a very good situation.

On one hand, they can keep Cousins around and continue to develop him while he backs up RGIII, who tends to play with a little more reckless abandon than the people of Washington D.C. probably like. 

On the other, they can shop him in the offseason. Just like so many other rookie QBs this year, Cousins is proving that he has a bright future ahead of him. His value is skyrocketing and there's no question that teams will come calling (oh hello there, New York Jets). 

It's pretty safe to say that no one is criticizing that draft pick anymore. 

 

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