When the Washington Redskins selected Kirk Cousins in 2012 only three rounds after spending the No. 2 overall pick on fellow quarterback Robert Griffin III, I wondered why D.C. was wasting a mid-round pick. The move almost seemed redundant since, well, Griffin was assumed to be the Day 1 starter.
That notion was dispelled towards the end of the 2012 season when Griffin fell to injury and Cousins carried the Redskins to a come-from-behind victory against the Baltimore Ravens. The Michigan State alumnus rode that momentum to another win the next week in his first career start, suddenly making Redskins fans wonder if Cousins was a better long-term option than Griffin.
With Griffin’s season-ending knee injury, one has to wonder if Cousins might just be the future of the franchise. RG3 might never be the same after the devastating injury, and is prone to hurt himself again with his aggressive style of play. Another serious injury could force him into early retirement, which might open a door for Cousins.
Although obviously not as much of a dynamic threat as Griffin, Cousins has a handful of quarterbacking qualities that make him a potential franchise-caliber quarterback in the NFL. Possessing solid size and athleticism, Cousins looks the part of a pro passer. He has the arm strength to make at least 90 percent of the throws while also offering the accuracy to put the ball where it needs to be. As he proved during his rookie year, Cousins has tremendous leadership qualities and can make big plays when the pressure is on.
I’m not rooting for this, but if Griffin does fall to a career-ending injury, the Redskins might not be in as much trouble as most other teams would be. Cousins has shown in his short amount of snaps that he’s capable of carrying the Washington offense, especially if young running back Alfred Morris continues to improve upon his phenomenal rookie performance.
The future looks bright for this young, talented Redskins franchise. No matter which of the two quarterbacks is starting a few years down the road, it’s safe to assume that D.C. will be enjoying plenty of success.