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Kirk Cousins: Washington Redskins' future backup QB

NEW YORK -- The Washington Redskins made their big move well before draft day, positioning themselves to take their quarterback of the future, Robert Griffin III, with the No. 2 overall pick.

On Day 3 of the draft, the Redskins chose their backup quarterback of the future: Kirk Cousins. Say what?

"It is a little surprising," Cousins told Redskins reporters Saturday after being taken in the fourth round. "I was trying to forecast which teams would be in need of a quarterback, and I didn't see the Redskins."

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Redskins coach Mike Shanahan explained to The Associated Press: "Any time you get a quarterback like Robert in the second pick of a draft, he's your franchise quarterback. He's going to be your quarterback for the next decade. (Kirk) knows he's going to be a backup, but there (are) injuries. I thought it was a steal for us."

The selection of Cousins marked just the fifth time in NFL history that two quarterbacks were drafted by the same team in Rounds 1 through 4 since 1967.

The Michigan State product is a good value with the No. 102 overall pick, but it's an odd fit considering how many needs the Redskins have. The team needs depth, and the Cousins pick was just its third in this draft. And the Redskins will be short in future drafts because of the Griffin trade.

Many analysts expected Cousins to go in Round 2, but he wound up being taken well after Brock Osweiler and Russell Wilson. Even Nick Foles went ahead of him.

It also sounds like a bad fit for Cousins if he ever wants to start, but Shanahan and his son, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, are great at developing quarterbacks. Rex Grossman will "compete" with Griffin this year, with Cousins in the No. 3 role. The plan likely will be to elevate Cousins in 2013.

Perhaps Shanahan eventually will be able to trade Cousins for a higher pick, just like Andy Reid would.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @GreggRosenthal.

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