Decision by 'Skins a real head-scratcher

The Washington Redskins first round draft pick quarterback Robert Griffin III laughs during a news...

The Washington Redskins first round draft pick quarterback Robert Griffin III laughs during a news conference at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland April 28, 2012. (REUTERS)

John Kryk, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:43 PM ET

People around the NFL are still scratching their heads over the Washington Redskins' decision to draft a second top-ranked quarterback.

After making Robert Griffin III the second overall pick Thursday night, Washington chose Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins with the No. 102 overall pick in the fourth round Saturday.

Normally, an NFL team hopes a fourth-round pick can at least compete for a starting job, not just provide insurance depth. The only other QB the Skins still have is veteran Rex Grossman.

Cousins was rated by experts as high as the fifth best quarterback available -- after Andrew Luck, RG3, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State, all of whom went in the first round.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Cousins was a three-time captain who led the Spartans to their best three-year stretch since the mid-1960s, winning a share of one Big Ten title. He ranks among the Big Ten Conference's career leaders in completion percentage (.641), passing efficiency (146.1), passing yards (9,131) and TD passes (66).

That Cousins was still available 102 selections into the draft last week is surprising. 'Skins coach Mike Shanahan is right when he says Cousins was "a steal" at that spot.

But, according to the Washington Post, the last time an NFL team chose two quarterbacks in the first four rounds was in 1989, when the Dallas Cowboys drafted Troy Aikman and Steve Walsh.

So what the heck was Shanahan thinking? And how miffed is Cousins, who no doubt wanted to go somewhere to have a legit shot at starting?

Shanahan told Washington-area reporters the following on Saturday:

"In the fourth round, you're looking for guys that are going to make your football team, and we have a little bit more depth now than we did in the past," Shanahan said. "You're going to do what you can to give your team players and depth at different positions.

"I got a chance to know Kirk at the Senior Bowl, and he's a quality man. He'll get a chance to come in here and show us what he can do ... There are injuries. You hope it doesn't happen, but you have to have depth on a football team. You want quality."

At the time, Cousins diplomatically said he was "a little surprised" that the Redskins drafted him. On Monday, he guested on Dan Patrick's syndicated radio show and elaborated.

"I was shocked, knowing what they had done with the No. 2 pick, and that I hadn't talked to them that much in the whole process," Cousins told Patrick.

But he kept calm and said the right things, like that it's important he and Griffin "handle this thing the right way" and "we're not competing against one another, we're competing with one another."

Maybe the Redskins will show him off in pre-season games, then trade him for value by Labour Day. Or maybe they plan to run RG3 more than people think.

Who knows?

For his part, Cousins probably expected to land on a team where -- at worst -- he might have been the understudy for a couple years.

Now, in Washington, he'll be wearing a ball cap during games. And if he wants to play anything but garbage time, he's left with having to root for RG3 to get injured.

SAINTS PLAYERS: For the fifth consecutive week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will probably announce the New Orleans Saints player suspensions for the bounty scandal. No, I'm not holding my breath either.

The story got even weirder when it was learned the NFL's director of investigations, Joe Hummel, resigned on Friday.

ROOKIE CAMPS: Some teams hold their three-day rookie camps this weekend, while others -- such as the Buffalo Bills -- do so on the May 11-13 weekend. Any drafted players who remain in college finishing up school, such as Luck at Stanford, cannot participate in these camps.

john.kryk@sunmedia.ca

@JohnKryk

blogs.canoe.ca/krykslants/


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