Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/2/12
Kirk Cousins finished his collegiate career as the winningest quarterback (27-12 starting record) in Michigan State history, and perhaps most notably for Spartans' fans he was 3-0 as a starter against rival Michigan.

Cousins totaled 9,131 passing yards along with 66 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in his career and also completed just over 64 percent of his passes.

NFL scouts have lauded Cousins' outstanding intangibles and technique, but there were questions about his arm strength and overall physical talent prior to solid showings at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. He had a disappointing showing at Michigan State's Pro Day, but according to a report caught the attention of draft analyst Mike Mayock by running his own workout. He stood out in part because he was willing to throw at the Combine, as many of the other top quarterback prospects in this year's class chose not to do so. In particular reports from the Senior Bowl and Combine suggested he showed good zip on his passes and had no major issues with deep balls, which were both concerns previously.

Cousins played in a pro-style offense at Michigan State, so that should help ease his transition to the NFL. He was also surrounded by NFL-caliber talent on the offensive side of the ball, most notably running back Edwin Baker and wide receivers Keshawn Martin and B.J. Cunningham, which may also bode well for his ability to run an NFL offense.

Cousins is regarded as a hard worker and film junkie that will work to improve himself, but there are some concerns his thin frame (6'3, 214 pounds) may make him ill-suited to absorbing contact and staying healthy at the next level. He would seem best suited to West Coast Offense-based precision passing game, where his strengths (accuracy, intelligence, footwork) can be accentuated and any concern about his arm strength can be minimized. Teams that may be interested in Cousins include the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, and his skills seem well-suited to the offense all those teams run.

His strong postseason showing has Cousins' draft stock on the rise, and he is in the mix along with Arizona State's Brock Osweiler and Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden to be the fourth quarterback taken in this month's Draft. That means he could go off the board sometime in the second round to a team that misses out on one of the top quarterback prospects, but how he shows himself during pre-draft visits with teams looks likely to go a long way toward determining where he is drafted.

Drafting Cousins in the second round seems like a bit of a reach to me, but a quarterback-needy team that has been left out of the mix so far this offseason may feel differently when it's time to pull the trigger on draft day. In any case, he looks likely to be drafted sometime in the third round if he makes it out of the second round. If he is allowed time to develop, Cousins could turn into a serviceable NFL starting quarterback and wind up being a draft day steal.

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