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Mike Shanahan says Cousins is a Super Bowl QB


Mike Shanahan says Cousins is a Super Bowl QB

ATLANTA--We know that Mike Shanahan is a big fan of Kirk Cousins. He drafted the quarterback in the fourth round in 2012 and immediately made him the backup to top pick Robert Griffin III. When Griffin faltered in 2013, Shanahan benched the reigning offensive rookie of the year. The given reason was to keep Griffin from getting injured in a meaningless late-season game but there was also an element of curiosity about what Cousins could do as a starter.

The three Cousins starts turned out to be the last three games with Shanahan at the helm of the Redskins. He was fired the day after the season ended and has been consistent in praising Cousins ever since. Some of the building up of Cousins is sincere but some of it undoubtedly stems from a desire to rebuild his own reputation. Getting a consistent Pro Bowl quarterback with a fourth-round pick is a good line on a resume if you want to get back into the NFL.

Cousins a consistent Pro Bowl selection? Yes, that’s what Shanahan told ESPN 980 on Friday. “I go through each year. I go through 2012, 2013, 2014 and just starting this year. He’s getting a feel of the system, the team,” ShanHn told Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro via Clinton Yates of thePost. “He’s a guy that has the potential to be a Bro Bowl quarterback, year-in-year out.”

But wait, as they say, there’s more. “I think he’s a guy that can take your team and win a Super Bowl. And that’s the biggest compliment I can give somebody,” he said later in the radio hit. “Does this person have the ability, the ingredients, that if he has the right supporting cast on offense/defense and special teams, can he win you a Super Bowl. And I believe that Kirk Cousins has that ability.”

Uh, OK. I mean, Cousins is doing some good things managing games for the Redskins and he engineered key fourth-quarter drives in both of them. And he can get better, no question. But no objective observer sees someone like Brady, Manning, Brees in his prime, or even Flacco in Cousins. You never know what will happen but Cousins has miles and miles to go before he is in the class of QBs who have won or could win Super Bowls.

The purpose here is not to bash Cousins but to wonder why Shanahan is so effusive in his praise of him. On Pro Football Talk, Florio speculated that Shanahan wants to get an NFL coaching job and then try to sign Cousins away from the Redskins. Cousins is a free agent at the end of the season and he could wind up with another team.

 The far-fetched part of Florio’s scenario is Shanny landing an NFL job. It would be hard to sell a 63-year-old coach who has won one playoff game since 1998 to an owner and a fan base. Even if he did manage to get a quarterback who maybe, possibly got a fairly competent quarterback in the fourth round. 

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Late push for McGlinchey, Landry and Davenport would help Redskins at 13

Late push for McGlinchey, Landry and Davenport would help Redskins at 13

For months, draft conversation suggested that there wasn't an offensive tackle to pick in the Top 10. And after Bradley Chubb, there wasn't an edge defender worth a Top 10 pick either. 

All of a sudden, that conversation is changing. 

Late charges from Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey, Boston College defensive end Harold Landry and University of Texas San Antonio pass rusher Marcus Davenport are starting to influence mock drafts.

On Wednesday, NFL Network's Peter Schrager predicted the 49ers to take McGlinchey with the ninth overall pick. Charley Casserly, in a mock draft with NBC Sports Washington on Monday, predicted the Chicago Bears take Davenport with the eighth overall pick. Reports on Landry are all over the place, but some guess he could break the Top 10 as well.

The thing to remember about the NFL: It's a passing league. Positions tied to the quarterback are the most important, and that means protecting the QB and getting after the QB is in high demand. No position will ever get over-drafted like quarterback, but it's not a surprise that teams might reach for players at tackle or edge rusher.

What does this mean for the Redskins holding the No. 13 pick?

It means great news. 

Washington will already benefit from four QBs going in the Top 10. That will likely push down an elite talent to their draft spot.

If McGlinchey, Davenport or Landry also crack the Top 10? Even better.

The Redskins need help at just about every position group on the defensive side of the ball. It's well documented how the team struggled against the run in 2017, but the defense also lost Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller this offseason. 

There will be a number of weapons available for Washington at 13, and that could include players like Minkah Fitzpatrick or Derwin James in addition to Vita Vea or Da'Ron Payne. It might mean Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith lasts to 13 too. 

For the Redskins, Fitzpatrick or James at 13 seems like a steal. Both players present elite potential at the evolving position of nickel cornerback. They can play some corner, some safety, and James might even be able to play some linebacker. 

Regardless of the eventual destination for James or Fitzpatrick, if more surprise players sneak into the Top 10 on Thursday night, the better Washington's options become. And that includes the possibility of trading down, Vea or Payne, Smith or Edmunds.

More elite options at 13 only helps the Redskins. 

Redskins fans should be rooting for Mike McGlinchey, Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport early Thursday night. The folks in Ashburn will be. 

- Mock Draft 9.0: Almost draft day
- Top Prospects: RB options for the Redskins
- Top Prospects: WR options for the Redskins
- Need To Know: Rich Tandler's Seven-Round Redskins Mock Draft
- Mega-Mock Predictions: DC Media choose No. 13 pick

Want more Redskins talk? Of course you do. Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Once undrafted, how Trey Edmunds found his way as a rookie in a crowded backfield

Once undrafted, how Trey Edmunds found his way as a rookie in a crowded backfield

NBC Sports Washington’s four-part digital series ‘E-Boyz’ -- chronicling the illustrious past, decorated present and bright future of the Edmunds family -- is NOW LIVE. Check out a new episode daily, leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Watch the third episode above and more here.

A position change. A school change. A season-ending injury. 

Those are the kinds of things that prevent an NFL career from ever starting. But none of those things stopped Trey Edmunds from reaching the league and contributing for the Saints as a rookie in 2017.

Trey, the oldest brother in a family that features 2018 prospects Tremaine and Terrell, came out of high school as a linebacker, but became a running back after enrolling at Virginia Tech. After three productive seasons with the Hokies, he transferred to finish up his career with Maryland, yet his senior season was cut short after fracturing his foot five games in to the schedule.

That injury was a big reason why the 2017 NFL Draft came and went without a phone call for Edmunds, so he signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in May. There, he played spot duty on special teams for much of his rookie campaign before his breakout moment in November:

Now, heading into his second pro year, Edmunds will reportedly have to fight for a roster spot in New Orleans again. But hey, adversity is something the 23-year-old is very familiar with, so don't bet against him.