COMMENTARY | All the press -- negative, positive, indifferent -- about Kirk Cousins is good press.
The former Michigan State Spartans star quarterback was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins -- a pick that was immediately questioned by NFL pundits. The Redskins just selected Baylor Bears phenom Robert Griffin III in the first round, second overall, and a controversy was born.
However, the more Cousins' name is mentioned, the better -- for him, the Redskins, and even Griffin III, who was named the team's starter Monday. All of the talk about Cousins' potential could be enough to fuel Griffin III even more. That may be great for him and Washington, not necessarily the greatest thing for Cousins.
But, again, all the attention coming Cousins' way is deserved. Some thought that he would slowly fade away after finishing a spectacular four-year career at Michigan State. Some thought that he wasn't an NFL-caliber quarterback and was essentially a throwaway pick for Washington.
But according to sources, an NFL "insider" -- front office personnel, scout (official title wasn't specified by report) -- feels Cousins is a diamond in the rough. And so does anyone who watched Cousins play for four years with the Spartans -- he was a quarterback that only really received the respect he deserved during his final year in East Lansing.
"I can't believe someone didn't take (Michigan State QB) Kirk Cousins sooner," the "insider" said. "(Washington) took two great shots at getting a quarterback. It was a great CYA (cover-your-ass) pick to bail them out if their first-round pick (Robert Griffin III) does not get it done. We didn't need one, but I was getting ready to pull (Cousins') card at that price. It wouldn't surprise me if the fourth-rounder winds up becoming the solution to their problems."
That's a huge statement. Almost unbelievable.
Cousins' familiarity with the Redskins' style of play could serve as an advantage. The Redskins coaching staff seems comfortable with Cousins' abilities.
"Kirk comes from more of a pro-style offense. Some of the stuff he did in college is the same as what we do here...," Washington quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur said.
Cousins is in DC. Whether or not Redskins fans are excited about that means nothing at this point. The best-case scenario would probably have been for Cousins to be drafted by a team that had a starting job up for grabs, one that didn't draft a player like Griffin III. However, he's being talked about -- and a lot -- despite being taken well behind a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.
Washington hasn't had much success with its top quarterback picks, either. See Heath Shuler and Jason Campbell's first-year resumes for examples.
Adam Biggers has followed NCAA football for over 20 years, specifically the Michigan State Spartans. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.