Cousins ranks high among backups

We're not even 100 percent sure if Kirk Cousins is the Redskins' No. 2 quarterback, but one NFL.com writer suggests he ranks very high among league-wide backups.

Recent discussion focused on where Robert Griffin III ranks among NFL starting quarterbacks. Now a new list examines the backups. In this class, the Redskins fared much better.

NFL.com writer Marc Sessler's 1-32 ranking of second-string passers starts with the trio of Mark Sanchez, Mike Glennon and Ryan Fitzpatrick, followed by potential Tom Brady stand-in Jimmy Garoppolo. Up next, six quarterbacks in the third tier:

5. Zach Mettenberger, Titans

6. Kirk Cousins, Redskins

7. Derek Anderson, Panthers

8. Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks

9. Drew Stanton, Cardinals

10. Ryan Mallett, Texans

Sessler: "For the sake of this exercise, I'm taking Cousins over Colt McCoy for Washington's No. 2 gig, but both could start games this season if RGIII crumbles. The shine is off Cousins after five of his nine picks last season came in the fourth quarter. Still, both Kyle Shanahan and Jay Gruden have raved about him."

Certainly no issue with Cousins over McCoy. The top 10 status also works. Sessler points out the interceptions, but Cousins also throws the best deep ball of Washington's three quarterbacks.

What's interesting is what I've always considered some weird disconnect. On the one hand, there never appears to be any serious discussion about another team targeting Cousins for trade. Perhaps they're not interested. But then we have lists like this - plus the eye test - that suggests there is gold left for mining.

Yet the Redskins never truly open the QB competition. Having a backup is vital, but holding onto Cousins rather than deal him for picks or players doesn't work when the team has needs.

Of course, one of those needs is quarterback.


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