Kirk Cousins is a popular name in connection with the 49ers’ quarterback search after 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan made it clear the club’s initial intention was to pursue Cousins in free agency after the 2017 season.
That lone pursuit has colored every discussion about what Shanahan is looking for in a quarterback, and what the 49ers might do when acquiring a signal caller to supplant Jimmy Garoppolo. Shanahan on Monday attempted to disconnect himself from the player Washington selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft when Shanahan was still the offensive coordinator.
“To say that my prototypical guy is someone like Kirk Cousins, I mean, that’s just, everyone knows my history with Kirk,” Shanahan said. “Thought we’d have a chance to get him here in free agency and I would have loved to have him in free agency until Jimmy came along the year before, because I thought we could have won with him, just like Minnesota has. I think Kirk does a good job for whatever team he plays for every year. There’s a number of quarterbacks like that, but that’s the only one I’ve been associated with because people thought I was trying to bring him here, which I was at the time. It’s not because that’s how you draw it up. If you’re going to draw it up, you’re going to draw the biggest, fastest, strongest and best quarterback in the pocket. So, I think that’s pretty ridiculous to say that, but I also tell you, I love Kirk. I know I’m not allowed to talk about other players, but Kirk’s a hell of a player and a lot of people would be lucky to have a quarterback like that.”
This sounds like a coach intent on not winding up with a quarterback like Cousins. Shanahan’s reference to how he’d “draw it up” if he could at quarterback lends belief to the idea the 49ers trade up to No. 3 in this year’s draft to give themselves maximum control over who they pick. Trading three first-round picks puts Shanahan in a position to essentially pick the QB he wants – or in a position to “draw it up.”
That endorsement of Cousins’ skill set sounded more like something the 49ers might’ve been happy with at the No. 12 overall pick or later. It’s not something they’re searching for by shelling out massive amounts of draft capital to climb up in the draft.
Shanahan and the 49ers moved up because they have their eye on a specific quarterback. Based on what the coach said Monday, it’s almost impossible to believe they did so to get a player that draws Cousins as a comparison.