QB KIRK COUSINS – MICHIGAN STATE – 6-2, 209
Redshirt Senior. 3-year starter. Great intangibles. The kind of prospect you would trust as the QB of your franchise. Just doesn’t wow me as a QB. Okay size. Strong arm. The poor man’s Andy Dalton. Lack of great physical skills is countered by the fact he’s such a smart, hard working, tough prospect.
Cousins throws the ball pretty well. Accurate passer. There are some plays where he’ll wow you with a throw over the middle into a tight window. You just wish he did that consistently. Footwork is a big issue. Doesn’t always set and stride into his throws. Sometimes will fall away as he’s releasing the ball. That can lead to high/erratic passes. Had a lot of success with crossing routes at MSU. Puts good touch on his short throws. Strong arm. Able to make all the throws. Good deep ball passer.
Decision making is up and down for such a smart guy. At times he will force the ball into coverage or tight spaces. Got away with this in the Big 10. In 2 bowl games against creative, athletic SEC defenses (Bama, UGA) he had 1 TD and 4 INTs. Georgia dropped another couple of INTs. Cousins does not look like a starting NFL QB. Needs the right pieces around him. Best year was 2011. He had 3 Senior WRs (all with NFL potential), a pair of Senior TEs, and a pair of very talented RBs.
Limited athlete. Will run when he’s left alone. At times will try to move in the pocket, but doesn’t have great feet. Must get better at moving to avoid rushers. Not afraid to hold the ball as pass rushers are bearing down on him. Tough guy who will take big hits and get right back up.
Cousins came up big in some tough situations. Most famously he threw a Hail Mary to beat Wisconsin at mid-season. He also led MSU to a comeback win in the bowl game over Georgia.
Cousins worked with former NFL QB Chris Weinke in preparation for the Combine. Cousins threw the ball better than ever in Indy and then had a very strong Pro Day showing. Weinke last year worked with Cam Newton and that turned out well. You never want to overrated workouts, but this is a case where the Cousins you see throwing the ball now is a new and improved version from the guy on game tape. Putting a value on that is tricky.
I think he should be a 4th round pick, but most likely he’ll go in the 2nd or 3rd round. I think using a 2nd round pick on Cousins is crazy. Game tape doesn’t show that level of talent or production. He is improved now, but that’s still early for a guy with his track record.