Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins’ NFL Chances?


This article was written by new staff writer Paul Segal.         

          Kirk Cousins is the starting quarterback for the best Michigan State team since 1966.  The junior has led his team on multiple comebacks this season, including last week in which Michigan State outscored Northwestern 21-3 in the 4th quarter to win by 8.  He is the clear leader of the Spartan offense, and is on pace to throw just six interceptions.  It is doubtful that he will declare for the upcoming NFL draft, but if he continues to develop this season and into his senior year, he will work his way into the first round of next year’s NFL Draft.

Kirk Cousins has the prototypical height of an NFL quarterback at 6’3’’, but is a bit undersized, weighing in at 210 pounds; the average sized NFL quarterback weighs approximately 225 pounds.   He stands tall and moves around confidently and instinctively in the pocket and has a very short and quick release.  Cousins can feel the rush and isn’t afraid to run when scrambling is his best option.  Cousins does not possess great accuracy on short, intermediate, or long routes, though he has improved his accuracy greatly since his sophomore campaign.  He compensates for this with phenomenal decision making; he has just 15 interceptions in 583 career passing attempts.  Kirk Cousins also demonstrates the ability to make all the NFL throws.  When needed, Cousins can put a great amount of zip on the ball, while also being able to exhibit touch on his deep ball.  Cousins’ biggest flaw is staring down receivers, as he often goes to his first or second read almost instantly without scanning the field.

                Kirk Cousins reminds me of Chad Henne when Henne came out of Michigan.  Both possess good decision making and leadership abilities, both are very instinctive in the pocket and both have the ability to make every NFL throw.  Chad Henne went towards the bottom of the 2nd round in the 2008 NFL Draft, but thus far has been a steal for the Miami Dolphins.  If Kirk Cousins decides to forgo his senior season and go to the 2011 draft, he will probably end up being a 3rd-4th round pick.  However, if he stays for his senior season and continues to develop the way he has over the past two years, he should be an early second round pick and could potentially sneak into the 1st round of the 2012 Draft with a good workout.