6'3, 205 pounds | Quarterback | Michigan State
Accuracy: Cousins is consistent enough on underneath throws like screens and check downs. He sometimes will throw the receiver into a defender which results in big hits. His accuracy drops when he does not get his feet set in the pocket causing the pass to be off target. He needs to use better technique at re-setting his feet so that he can deliver deep passes more consistently. His passes tend to float sometimes when not getting good balance over his feet and will throw off of his heels which takes some zip off of the pass. He needs to get stronger in the upper body so he can add more zip and velocity to his deep throws. He needs to work at throwing a receiver open at the NFL level. He has shown the ability to make accurate throws on the move with good footwork and mobility. Cousins does a good job on bootlegs and ball fakes.
Arm strength: He has good arm strength though not an elite arm. He has little spiral on the ball which causes it to lose zip. He lacks the arm strength right now to stretch the field vertically on deeper throws and the long ball. He gets too much air under the deep throws and they tend to float sometimes and forces the receiver to come back to the ball. He consistently gets good velocity on short to medium passes.
Decision making: He goes thru his progression fairly quick locating the open receiver and then deliver an accurate pass consistently on short to medium throws. He is smart and does a fine job of reading the defense before the snap and makes adjustments well. He does a good job of finding the open man against zone or man defenses. He usually recognizes the blitz and gets the ball to the hot receiver. If nothing is open, he has decent athleticism and playing speed to get yardage with his legs.
Field vision: He has routinely showed he can make plays under pressure while keeping his eyes down field and lead his team to come back victories. He goes thru his progressions well on a consistent basis. He will stand in the pocket long as possible with pressure coming at him to deliver an accurate pass.
Mechanics: Cousins does a good job of staying poised in the pocket when it breaks down. He sometimes gets happy feet and will throw inaccurately because of not being balanced on his feet. He uses his quick feet to get back in his drops quickly. He generally will make accurate throws when he has the time in the pocket to re-set his feet and get his balance.
Pocket awareness: Cousins has good foot quickness to get back into his drops and deliver an accurate pass. He was in a pro style system which required him to take snaps from up under center and from the shotgun. He has a very good ball fake and gets his head around quickly to deliver an accurate pass to the open receiver. He will get happy feet if he stands in the pocket to long. He does a good job of feeling the blind side rush coming and slides up or side steps the defender well.
Final word: Cousins is a very intelligent player and understands the pro style system whether it be taking snaps from under center or the shotgun he is equally proficient at both. He was a very productive starting QB in college and performed well against what I call, "the 3 phases of competition". He performed well and usually showed no signs of drop off against below average teams, teams equally as talented, and the top ranked teams loaded with talent. He has good leadership qualities that he has shown multiple times when bringing his team from behind to comeback victories. That is one good sign of a future starting QB in the NFL. He has quick feet and decent athleticism to avoid the pass rush (only sacked 14 times during the 2011-2012 season). Overall, Cousins can make plays with his feet when plays break down and with his arm. If he goes to a team with a good veteran QB and is given the time to develop, he should be a good starting QB in the NFL down the road. Teams like the Packers, Saints, Chargers, and where ever Peyton Manning decides to play would be ideal places for Cousins to develop as a QB.