Kirk Cousins

QB · Michigan State
Kirk Cousins has come to grips with it: He's more brains than brawn. That distinction brings a certain stigma for NFL quarterback prospects. Game manager. Efficiency expert. Call it what you will, but Cousins' intelligence alone doesn't make him an underdog. Luckily for him, he's been here before. Cousins was planning to attend Toledo, but Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio offered a last-minute scholarship, coupled with a redshirt season that made the transition from 170-pound long shot to Brian Hoyer's backup in 2008 to starter a breeze. By the time Cousins took his first snap, he knew the playbook front to back. The competition, Oklahoma transfer Keith Nichol, wound up playing wide receiver. "This isn't a foreign concept to me because I've been having to prove myself for a long time," said Cousins. "Whether you're overlooked or underestimated or not, you have to prove yourself every day, and it's very competitive." Cousins' natural leadership ability helps him control any room. That includes his stirring speech at the Big Ten media day in 2011 preseason. The near-presidential oratory execution drew rave reviews on the scene and has been viewed on YouTube more than 310,000 times. That isn't helping, of course, with the brawn factor. "I believe I have what it takes to become a great player in the NFL," said Cousins, the fifth-ranked quarterback and a projected second-round pick according to "It's going to take time to prove that. You have to start somewhere. ... Once the draft passes, take the next step toward being a great player in this league. It's not going to happen overnight. You have to focus on the next challenge ahead of you." Not everyone believed in Cousins out of Holland Christian High School. That's why his most attractive scholarship offers in athletics came from the Mid-American Conference. But five years later, he leaves East Lansing as the career leader in touchdown, passing yards, passer efficiency, total offense and 200-yard games in Spartans history, a three-time team captain with an unblemished record against Michigan. Scouts and coaches will love having him in the locker room. He'll rule the film room, is the ultimate worker bee who won't ask anything of teammates he's not willing to do better, the type of hard-to-find intangibles that gets quarterbacks drafted millions of dollars earlier than Cousins will be because of his average arm, velocity and shaky consistency in throwing receivers open. Debate this evaluation with Cousins at your own peril. "When I look at the quarterbacks who have success year in and year out, I see quarterbacks who are great leaders, very accurate and are great decision-makers," he said. "I think those things are my three greatest strengths. I think across the board, those are the things that make a quarterback successful in the NFL over a long period of time" --Jeff Reynolds


Generally accurate on intermediate and short throws; flashes anticipation and placement on intermediate outs and the ability to lead receivers on deeper throws. Runs pro-style system, takes snaps under center and from the shotgun. Good height and growing build to stand in the pocket. Possesses a solid knowledge of his offense and seems to know where defenses are vulnerable. Looks off safeties to open vertical routes and will come off one receiver if covered to find second option. Three-year team captain (first sophomore Spartan to receive the honor since 1949).


Too often fails to give receivers a chance to make a play after the catch. High completion percentage padded by many quick screens. Very ordinary arm, though there is room for improvement with better technique. Lacks strength to stretch field horizontally or vertically. Throws too many passes flat-footed or without his feet being set, and lacks arm to compensate. Double-clutches at times, leading defenders to the ball. Inconsistent decision maker on the run.

Ranked among the state's top 30 seniors by the Detroit Free Press (No. 10) and (No. 27) . . . honorable mention all-state selection in 2006 . . . honorable mention Academic All-State selection by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association . . . two-year starter at quarterback for Coach Tim Lont at Holland (Mich.) Christian High School where he set 35 school passing and total offense records (career, single-season and single-game marks) . . . named Area Player of the Year after completing 130-of-231 throws (.563) for 2,088 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a senior . . . all-conference quarterback led the Maroons to a program-best 7-3 record in 2006 while qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in school history . . . set school single-game passing records for completions (23), attempts (38) and yards (289) vs. Greenville in 2006 . . . had a school-record four TD passes vs. Reeths-Puffer as a senior . . . participated in the 2006 Top Flight Quarterback Camp . . . started six games at quarterback as a junior before being sidelined with a foot injury . . . hit 68-of-135 throws (.504) for 1,116 yards, 12 TDs and eight interceptions . . . completed 198-of-366 career passes (.541) for 3,204 yards, 40 TDs and 18 interceptions . . . threw three or more TD passes in nine of his 16 career games played . . . earned all-conference honors in three sports: football, baseball (pitcher) and basketball.

Son of Don and MaryAnn Cousins . . . born Aug. 19, 1988 . . . brother Kyle was a four-year letterman as a pitcher at Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Mich.) . . . participates in the Spartan Buddies program, volunteering in the pediatric ward at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing . . . participates in Athletes in Action sports ministry . . . majoring in kinesiology.

Physical Attributes:

Proj Rd: 2-3
Height: 6-3
Weight: 214.0
Forty: 4.8
Arm: 31 3/4
Hand: 9 7/8
Wingspan: --

Pro Day Results:

Cone: --
Bench: --
Shuttle: --
10: --
20: --
40: --
BJ: --
VJ: --

Combine Results:

Cone: 7.05
Bench: --
Shuttle: 4.5
10: 1.69
20: 2.81
40: 4.8
BJ: 09'01"
VJ: 28 1/2