When the Washington Redskins were on the clock in the 4th round of professional football’s off-season phenomenon, the 2012 NFL Draft, many expected Washington to select a defensive back or running back. Some figured the team could even go offensive line, after selecting Josh LeRibeus in the 3rd round. Mike Shanahan, however, had a different plan. A plan that he felt was in the best interest of the franchise – but was it really?
With 102 overall, the Washington Redskins selected Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State. When the pick was announced, I was at a restaurant enjoying a nice breakfast – french toast, bacon… breakfast potatoes with the little parsley things on top. While watching the draft on my cellular device, I nearly threw my phone across the dinning area in complete and utter disbelief of the selection Washington had just made. Of course, that was my initial reaction. I waited a bit – finished my food, and posted a message on twitter:
Since that tweet, it’s been a whirlwind. Some fans understand and endorse the pick, others completely disliked it. Some media support Mike Shanahan’s decision to choose a quarterback 100 picks after drafting Robert Griffin III, and others have labeled it as a “Unnecessary Quarterback Controversy.”
Well that’s not unusual – Redskins fans are used to QB controversy’s. It’s nothing new. The Redskins seem to have a “QB controversy” every year, but this time, Redskins fans should enjoy the conundrum. Having two quarterbacks that most had in their top 5 2012 NFL Draft QB rankings is a good problem to have. Of course, there are some that believe the Washington Redskins should have addressed another need at that spot, but obviously none of those players convicted Mike Shanahan. None, except Kirk Cousins.
Often times we get caught up in what the media or non-team scouts perceive about a player(s), and forget that teams rank their own. Mike Shanahan had a second round grade on Kirk Cousins, and with him on the board in the 4th round, it was too good of a value to pass up. Why pass on a player you believe strongly in, to take a guy you’re not so sure about? If you take a guy you don’t believe in and he ends up not having success, that’s a pick wasted. GM’s and coaches that select best player available, according to their board, often times have more success than those that don’t.
For the first time in at least a decade, the Redskins have two young, intelligent, and capable quarterbacks. It’s a conundrum that should excite the fan-base. Washington just had a major introduction for RG3. Brought forth with Prompt and circumstance, the infantry was ordered, secret service surrounded every area that Robert graced with his presence. It was indeed presidential, and should leave no question as to whom that franchise has indulged all hope in.
Kirk Cousins is a competitor and natural leader. However, his personality isn’t brash or forthright. He will fall right in place and handle the situation with complete class. Cousins knew there was a possibility he would have to be a backup. He also understands that Robert Griffin III is and will be the Washington Redskins quarterback. Every football player should embrace competition, and having a guy like Cousins will only force RG3 to continue working hard.
Let’s say, hypothetically, RG3 doesn’t become the QB everyone expects him to be and Cousins proves to be a complete stud. Though that’s beyond far-fetched, it’s a good situation to be in. Not to mention, if RG3 proves to be great, and Cousins shows flashes during any opportunity he gets - whether that’s pre-season or being called up to replace RG3 due to an injury, that benefits the team. The Quarterback position is the most valued position in all of football. If Washington ever decides to make Cousins available via trade, there’s no doubt he would be in demand.
If a team is only focused on the starting 22 players, often times they won’t have success. It’s like going into free agency and picking up all the big names, and thinking you have the “dream team.” Eagles fans can defend that claim, and Redskins fans should definitely understand. Certain positions rarely hit free agency – Left Tackles, great defensive linemen, and quarterbacks you can build a franchise around. The Redskins made their greatest weakness, into possibly one of their strengths. It’s a conundrum that should excite Redskins Nation.
If you enjoy talking Washington Redskins and all things NFL, follow Emmanual Benton on Twitter: @Roccoskins