The Redskins' selection of Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins in the 4th round of this weekend's NFL Draft was a surprise to quite a few people, most notably Cousins himself.
Naturally, this was taken as a cue for everyone to jump on Mike Shanahan (yet again) for a controversial quarterback-related decision. Some of those arguments were so exquisitely stupid that they may actually be contagious, like tuberculosis.
Other arguments, like those made by Ben Standig and David Elfin, are at least worth considering. They're after the jump.
Here's what Ben, who has done some writing for us in the past, had to say in part.
You say there is no competition? We all agree on that, now. Of course, nobody thought Heath Shuler, the third overall pick in the 1994 draft, would lose his job to a 7th rounder from the same class.
If he does just that, Mike Shanahan will notice. Then the concern becomes will RG3 notice him noticing.
Nobody let Gus Frerotte in on the plan. Guessing Cousins won't get that memo either. After falling to day three of the draft, he has much to prove.
And over to you, Mr. Elfin.
I admit that I'm a drafting for need instead of taking the best available athlete guy, but this move was ridiculous. A team that is 11-21 under Shanahan's command and 17-39 over its past three and a half seasons can afford to use a fourth-rounder on a player it hopes will never play a down? Are you kidding me? Suddenly the downtrodden Redskins are the perennially powerful Patriots or Packers, making luxury picks?
And finally, there is Mel Kiper.
mel kiper did not like the cousins pick by the #redskins. says it can "divide a locker room."— John Keim (@john_keim) April 30, 2012
Kiper also said: "If RG3 gets nicked up and Cousins lights it up, what do you do?"my point: issue is there w/just about any backup— John Keim (@john_keim) April 30, 2012
With respect to all three of these men: the Cousins pick was not a pick for need, it was a pick for depth, as you would expect at a position that is generally considered the most important in the game. If, God forbid, RGIII gets his cleats caught in the turf and rips his knee to shreds on the first snap of his pro career, then guess what? You're back to Rex Grossman unless you have a second, not-John-Beck option waiting in the wings.
And if, in this hypothetical scenario, Cousins does light it up, and if RGIII doesn't want to be a backup, then guess what? He's out. Trade him, release him, whatever, but the only option is for him to go. That's a fact of life in the NFL. The Patriots had no problem doing it to Drew Bledsoe, at the time a proven, big-money veteran, when a hotshot named Tom Brady came on the scene.
Of course, this is all extremely hypothetical. But when it comes to NFL quarterbacks, insurance is never too dear.