- Kirk Cousins was initially disappointed to be drafted by the Washington Redskins because they had already taken Robert Griffin III.
- For Cousins, who was a fall-back option for a scholarship at Michigan State, it meant that yet again he was competing against a more celebrated prospect.
- But things worked out for Cousins, and now he is a franchise quarterback with the Minnesota Vikings.
A profile of new Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, from Chad Graff of The Athletic, recounts how Cousins was initially disappointed with what should have been one of the biggest moments of his, getting drafted by an NFL team.
Cousins hoped to be taken in the second or third round of the draft, and as Graff tells it, was especially eager to go to the New Orleans Saints or New England Patriots to learn under Drew Brees or Tom Brady. But the third round of the draft passed by and Cousins still was not selected.
Instead, when Cousins got the call from the Washington Redskins, he was stunned, having assumed that they, who spent the second overall pick on Robert Griffin III, would certainly not take another quarterback.
Graff wrote, “Kirk retreated to his room upstairs by himself. The rest of the room looked around confused. ‘Wait,’ Grandma Jean, [Kirk’s late grandmother], said. ‘Isn’t this supposed to be the exciting part?'”
“It was hard to believe that I could get drafted and not really be thrilled about it,” Cousins told Graff.
Since Washington had already taken Griffin, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Cousins knew that he would have to prove himself to the team over a much more highly-touted prospect. Again.
Cousins had been lightly recruited during High School, and only got a scholarship offer to Michigan State after another quarterback, Keith Nichols, switched his commitment.
And when he first got to Michigan State, Cousins was over-shadowed by Nick Foles, and even Cousins beat out Foles for the backup job freshman year, and Foles decided to transfer, Nichols transferred to MSU.
“Despite being the school’s second sophomore captain ever, Cousins had to wait on a phone call from Dantonio each Friday night to learn if he’d be the starting quarterback the next day. It wasn’t until midway through the season that Cousins had solidified his spot as the starter,” Graff wrote.
But things worked out for Cousins in Michigan State, and well enough in Washington that this offseason Minnesota handed Cousins a fully-guaranteed $84 million contract, proving that he was, finally, a team’s first choice.