Everyone knew the Redskins would use their first pick in the draft, No. 2 overall, on quarterback Robert Griffin III. But no one expected the Redskins to use their third pick, No. 102 overall, on a quarterback as well. Not even that quarterback, Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins, who said after the draft that he hadn’t thought there was much chance of going to Washington.
“I think it is a little surprising,” Cousins said. “I was trying to forecast which teams would be looking at quarterback and I didn’t see the Redskins thinking along those lines.”
Cousins said he’s aware that in 1994, the Redskins drafted Heath Shuler third overall, then drafted Gus Frerotte in the seventh round, and that Frerotte would eventually beat Shuler out for the starting job. But Cousins said he’s simply focusing right now on getting himself read for the Redskins’ first minicamp.
If Cousins ever beats Griffin out as the starter in Washington, that means Griffin has been a bust. But if the Redskins are confident that Cousins will be a good quarterback, the pick could make sense. A good backup quarterback is a valuable asset, and a backup quarterback who plays well enough that other teams think he can start can be turned into trade bait. The Cousins pick is surprising, but that doesn’t mean it won’t ultimately prove to be smart.