Back in 2012, Washington surprised a lot of people when they drafted Kirk Cousins in the fourth round. They had made a big move up the draft board to get Robert Griffin III at No. 2 overall, so nobody expected another sizable move at the quarterback position.
Cousins was not the specific reason they went with another quarterback that high. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that during that draft, Mike Shanahan was hoping to land Russell Wilson in the fourth round. Seattle jumped on Wilson in the third round, and so Washington went with Cousins.
This is actually not brand new information. Back in 2015, during the NFL Combine, Mike Shanahan mentioned this in an interview. Their QB list included Andrew Luck, RG3, Ryan Tannehill, Wilson, and Cousins.
“We had five guys,” said Shanahan, who then listed Andrew Luck, who went to the Indianapolis Colts with the top pick; Griffin, the second player selected after the Redskins traded two first-round picks and a second-rounder to move up 12 spots; Ryan Tannehill, who the Miami Dolphins selected with the eighth pick in the first round; Wilson, who went to the Seahawks in the third round with the 75th pick overall; and Kirk Cousins, who the Redskins selected in the fourth round with the 102nd pick overall.
“Even in the third round, we were thinking about taking Russell Wilson just because we thought he presented the same problems as Robert. And if you could have a guy as your first- and second-team quarterback, both had the same type of athletic ability, you would give yourself a chance.”
It was interesting that they went with such a dramatically different quarterback in Cousins once Wilson was off the board. He offered a much different skillset than RG3, but it worked out in some ways considering the change Washington eventually made at the QB position.
It certainly does raise some intriguing thoughts about what this might mean for the 49ers quarterback position next offseason. Accuracy will be important, but how much will they look at mobility between the players? John Lynch has final say on the 90-man roster, but there will be plenty of discussion. And of course, Kyle Shanahan might get a word or two in about the QB position next offseason.