Monday, April 30, 2012

Kiper: Cousins pick 'can divide a team'

One of if not the main post-NFL Draft water cooler topics centers on the Redskins quarterbacking situation - but not simply Robert Griffin III. Rather, how the drafting of Michigan State's Kirk Cousins impacts the start of the RG3 era.

I weighed in here, offering my take on the puzzling other quarterback pick. Some like Sports Illustrated's Peter King and Don Banks have set up camp on my side of the aisle, others go the other way.

During his post-draft conference call on Monday, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper voiced his opinion.

It's not favorable. We're talking the pick for the Redskins on the heels of going all in for Robert Griffin III, not the upside of Cousins.

As anyone who has listened to Kiper knows, he talks fast and he talks a lot. I transcribed it all. Here are the raw quotes, followed by his thoughts on the Redskins non-QB picks.

"I wouldn’t have taken Cousins in the fourth round if I’m the Redskins. I would have loved to have had him for a team that needed a young quarterback that could be the starter in a year or so. I would have loved him in the fourth round. He could have been a second-round pick. We could have been sitting here saying he was a decent second-round pick. No problem with them saying we had him rated as the third quarterback, we had to take him.

"But does this cause any problems? It’s easy to say he understands [Cousins] role, RG3 is the starter. [Cousins is] coming into compete, he’s not coming into understand a role. How can you tell someone to be a backup? You can’t tell a kid, coming in the fourth round you just be satisfied to be the backup. No matter what you do you’re our backup. He’s not going to buy into that.

"These two new kids are coming in. They don’t know anybody on this team. They are coming in completely new. It would be different if RG3 was a second-year guy, [like] Cam Newton right now. If he was where Cam Newton is right now and you wanted to bring in Kirk Cousins to be a quality backup moving, [Newton’s ] already established. This is going to be competition that can divide a team, it can cause problems.

"If RG3 gets a little nicked up and Cousins goes out there and lights it up, what are you going to do then? What do you do? It was the same with Tom Brady and Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe got hurt. Did he remain the starter when he got back? No, Brady got the job, a sixth round pick. Bledsoe got kicked to the curb. This notion that it can’t cause problems is the perfect world. The perfect world would say RG3 is great from the start. Kirk Cousins is a solid backup – a solid backup as a rookie? How is a solid backup a rookie. I never bought into that one.

"By the time they are established and Cousins is the backup, you’re fine but that’s a long way down the road. In the fourth round they could have had some very good players. There were 4-5 players on the board that could have really helped the Redskins. That’s my argument against it. There is an argument for it, we’ve heard it, but UI have a different take on the whole thing."

End, scene.

*If you want an audio debate on the Cousins pick, check out this fiesty radio segment on the "Mike Wise Show" between my fave local sports mind Smokin' Al Koken and my boy Evan Silva from Rotoworld.

*Kiper also offered his take on the Redskins other day two and three selections, including guards Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis.

- "LeRibeus went t a little higher than I thought he would. I like Gettis a little better so I think Gettis in the 5th is a better pick than LeRiebus in the third."

- Kiper said fourth-round pick LB Kennan Robinson "never really wowed me while running back could serve as a backup.

- He saw North Dakota offensive tackle Tom Compton as a "developmental guy. I thought he could be in the fourth. They got him in the sixth, not bad there."

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