Cousins Outside Top 10 (+3) in ESPN NFL QB Ranking

Nov 17, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports.

Over at ESPN, Jeremy Fowler is running a series of articles where he considers the top 10 players at various positions. The QB spot, of course, will be of interest to Vikings fans since Kirk Cousins is so polarizing. In the Fowler QB ranking, Cousins doesn’t find himself in the top 10 and nor is he included alongside the honorable mentions.

To put together the list, ESPN reached out to “more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players to help us stack the top 10 players at 11 different positions, from edge rusher to interior offensive lineman.” The purpose is to see who the best players are at the present moment: “The objective is to identify the best players right now for 2022. This is not a five-year projection or an achievement award. Who are the best players today? Pretty simple.”

It has to be at least somewhat discouraging to see that Cousins isn’t even among the 3 honorable mentions for the QB ranking. Instead, his name is tucked away at the very bottom with the title “Also receiving votes.” No one would be overly concerned if he made somewhere around $20-$25 million. Instead, Cousins comes with the third-highest cap hit in 2022.

The top 10, in order, is as follows: Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Joe Burrow, Matthew Stafford, Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Dak Prescott. The three who come close but don’t make the cut are Lamar Jackson, Derek Carr, and Kyler Murray. Based on this list, Cousins is the 14th-best QB in the NFL since he’s the only one who is mentioned as receiving votes without being included in the official list.

It’d be hard to argue that Cousins isn’t comfortably in the top half of NFL QBs. That isn’t up for debate at this point. The real issue rests in the discrepancy between the results he offers his teams and then his massive cap hits. The only way for Cousins to start getting more respect in the QB rankings is for him to start winning. Perhaps Kevin O’Connell will have some magic that helps push the purple QB to the next level.