Heading into the NFL draft, Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins thought he’d be chosen by a team that envisioned him as a future starter after a couple years as an apprentice to a thirtysomething veteran. Instead, Cousins was chosen in the fourth round by the Redskins, where he’ll back up No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III — who’s a year and a half younger than him. That’s not what Cousins had in mind.
Cousins said on the Dan Patrick Show that he figured he’d go to the Broncos or Eagles as a backup to Peyton Manning or Michael Vick, and that one of those teams would groom him as its starter of the future. Cousins reiterated that he’s surprised to be a Redskin and didn’t expect them to take him.
“I was shocked, knowing what they had done with the No. 2 pick, and I hadn’t talked to them that much in the process,” Cousins said of the Redskins taking him. “I would have said probably Denver or Philadelphia, in terms of teams that had shown interest and were looking for a quarterback.”
It would be hard to blame Cousins if he’s disappointed to be with the Redskins. In Denver or Philadelphia, Cousins could have learned from Manning or Vick and eventually taken over from them. In Washington, Cousins can only become the starter if Griffin is injured or a major disappointment. Still, Cousins is trying to put a happy face on the situation.
“I still have an opportunity to learn from a nine-year veteran like Rex Grossman,” Cousins said. “I’ll be the first one to say it was a surprising pick to me as well, but coach Shanahan was there in San Francisco with Joe Montana and Steve Young, so he’s not new to this. . . . I know my opportunity is going to come sooner or later.”
Cousins’ opportunity may come, but probably not with the team that drafted him.