Kirk Cousins and the NFC East QB Depth Charts

By Lance Rinker

The Washington Redskins were criticized a great deal when they drafted Kirk Cousins in the fourth round of this year’s draft. People thought that head coach Mike Shanahan had finally lost his marbles, and his ability, to build a successful team. Fast forward to now, take a look around the landscape of the NFL and each teams quarterback situation, and you can see that many teams still have no depth at the position.

Even now, when you look around the NFC East and look at the quarterback depth charts you will see a complete lack of options beyond number one on the depth chart unless you are the Dallas Cowboys. They are fortunate enough to have shelled out boat loads of cash to have Kyle Orton agree to be Tony Romo’s backup. Beyond Orton they have just Stephen McGee though – which means if Romo goes down and Orton doesn’t work out the team is screwed. Then again, isn’t Orton more-or-less a glorified version of Rex Grossman?

The New York Giants have Eli Manning and then David Carr backing him up. If Manning were to go down I’m not really sure how confident the Giants would be in having Carr step in and start every single week. At least I wouldn’t be all that confident in a guy who has completed just 56 percent of his passes and amassed a 68.3 QBR since 2007 – the point at which he became a backup.

Even Andy Reid and his quarterback developing scheme is starting to come into question as his latest protégé, Kevin Kolb, has been a bust – almost a complete one – since being traded to the Arizona Cardinals last season and he is having a difficult time finding any takers for Mike Kafka. Donovan McNabb was even traded towards the high-ish end of his value and we all know how that worked out in Washington.

Are we to believe that Michael Vick is going to play all 16 games this season and save the Philadelphia Eagles by leading them to the Super Bowl?

The man hasn’t played a full season since 2006, with the Atlanta Falcons, and I don’t expect him to suddenly stay healthy for all 16 games in 2012. What that means is that his current back-up, Nick Foles, will see some playing time this year and it’s possible he could see significant playing time. Behind him is former starter Trent Edwards, but Reid thinks so lowly of him that he has a rookie ahead of him on the depth chart.

My point is this: In today’s NFL you need to have two quarterbacks that are capable of playing and in the Redskins case they have three. We all know that Robert Griffin III is the undisputed starting quarterback in Washington and we also know that Grossman is the backup.

However, with Cousins’ performance in the preseason (and yes, I know that preseason stats are basically meaningless) and the confidence with which he stood in the pocket, I think he will emerge as RG3’s primary backup before the season is over. Then you will all begin to realize exactly what Shanahan saw in Cousins when he drafted him and exactly the reason why it wasn’t a mistake.

The Redskins quarterback depth is the greatest it has been in a very long time and while we may not have the best quarterback in the division (yet), we are the team with the most depth so an injury to RG3 or Grossman won’t devastate whatever kind of season we end up having.

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