Could Kirk Cousins Be the Vikings Quarterback of the Future?
Dec 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) throws a pass against the New York Giants during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Johnny Manziel. Blake Bortles. Derek Carr. Teddy Bridgewater. These, my fellow Viking fans, are all common names being thrown around at the biggest question facing the Minnesota Vikings front office–Who will be the Vikings Quarterback of the future? But… What if the actual QB of the future is not one of those four? What if, right now, the Minnesota Vikings QB of the future is sitting on another roster waiting to be traded? If you didn’t catch it (pun intended) in the title, I am talking about the Washington Redskins very own Kirk Cousins.
Physically, Cousins fits the prototypical NFL QB mold, with a 6’3” 209 lb frame, and at age 25, he still has time to develop. Cousins came out of Michigan State, where he had a fantastic career highlighted by a 22-5 record over his final 2 years. He ended up being drafted with the 7th pick of the 4th round (107th overall) in the 2012 NFL draft—The same year that the Redskins chose a man by the name of Robert Griffin III. Because of this, Cousins has rode the bench for the last 2 years for the most part, but has gotten the chance to start a total of 4 games both in 2012 (due to an RG3 injury) and 2013 (after Washington’s coaching staff decided to shut down the injury-prone and struggling RG3 for the rest of the season).
In his 4 career starts, Cousins has shown a lot of potential that he can be a franchise QB, specifically in week 15 of both 2012 and 2013 (I’m thinking he should wear #15?) in which he combined to complete 55 of 82 passes (67%) for 710 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, while showing that he is very accurate, good under pressure, can occasionally move the chains with his legs, and that he can throw a beautiful deep ball. While he has had plenty of highlights in his short career, he has also displayed a level of inconsistency, combining to complete only 40 of 85 passes (47%) for 366 yards with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions in his other two starts while struggling with a mix of poor decision-making, indecisiveness, and drops.
If Norv Turner is indeed added as the Offensive Coordinator, which seems very, very likely at this point, he will undoubtedly be looking for someone who can throw the deep ball, which Cousins has shown time and time again that slinging it is one of his best attributes. Norv Turner is also regarded as one of the best young QB-developers in the NFL, and would have a great chance to live up to this reputation with Cousins.
Another benefit of trading for Cousins is that, since he has been in the league for 2 years now, he will have less of a development time than any QB in the upcoming draft, which would be fantastic news for the soon-to-be 29 year-old Adrian Peterson who may not have enough gas left in the tank to wait for a rookie to develop.
Now we get to the good part, what would it take to get Cousins? Mike Shanahan can be quoted on ESPN 980 saying “If he lights it up, hey, maybe we can bring a first-round draft choice back to this organization”. Keep in mind, this was before Cousins finished the season with two back-to-back stinkers in weeks 16 and 17, and even if he had lit it up, a first rounder could be a stretch. We are probably looking at something like a 3rd rounder for Cousins, and considering the way that Spielman drafts outside of the first two rounds, this, in my opinion, is definitely worth the gamble.
Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments below or shoot me a tweet @jackmack28 letting me know your opinions.