Kirk Cousins NOT Snubbed in ESPN QB Rankings

Kirk Cousins Standing Tall for Vikings
Oct 24, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to pass the ball in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN ranked NFL quarterbacks this week, using opinions and input from NFL executives, coaches, and scouts.

The sports media giant has recently sifted position-by-position, establishing league pecking orders at each position.

Kirk Cousins NOT Snubbed in ESPN QB Rankings

And when ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler shifted focus to QB, the order was quite predictable. Surprises weren’t plentiful. One item, though, was noteworthy — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins’ inclusion in the ‘Honorable Mention’ section.

Cousins NOT Snubbed
Nov 10, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) reacts to a first down run in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports.

If you’re upset Cousins wasn’t a guest in the Top 10, that’s on you. Cousins has stretches in seasons where he resembles a Top 10 passer, but he doesn’t consistently do enough to grab Top 10 kudos overall. The commentary, however, in his Honorable Mention category was about as flattering as it gets regarding Cousins.

For starters, here are the Top 10 NFL quarterbacks per ESPN polling:

  1. Patrick Mahomes (KC)
  2. Joe Burrow (CIN)
  3. Josh Allen (BUF)
  4. Aaron Rodgers (NYJ)
  5. Justin Herbert (LAC)
  6. Jalen Hurts (PHI)
  7. Lamar Jackson (BAL)
  8. Trevor Lawrence (JAX)
  9. Dak Prescott (DAL)
  10. Matthew Stafford (DET)
Nov 27, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports.

And the Honorable Mentions, although it’s unclear if they’re listed in order:

  • Deshaun Watson (CLE)
  • Kirk Cousins (MIN)
  • Jared Goff (DET)
  • Derek Carr (NO)
  • Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

Fowler did not list the men alphabetically in his article, so it appears Cousins might’ve checked in at No. 12 in this year’s rankings. Ranking Cousins at No. 12 is a pretty damn fair assessment.

Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a touchdown pass while being rushed by Green Bay Packers defensive end Dean Lowry (94) as guard Ed Ingram (67) blocks during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Fowler wrote about Cousins in the Honorable Mentions section or No. 12 spot, “In recent years, Cousins has steadily climbed up the ranking as more of a top-10 threat than middle-of-the-road passer. His 13,033 passing yards over the past three seasons rank fourth among active NFL quarterbacks, and he’s coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl campaigns.”

And an NFL executive opined, “You can poke holes in his game, and many do, but he’s talented, he’s accurate, and he wins.”

Kirk Cousins on Release of Dalvin Cook & What He Sees In New-Look Defense During Minicamp. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center during 2023 NFL Mandatory Minicamp.

Any characterization of Cousins as a ‘winner’ is a brave new world and almost seems to align with the universal praise and sympathy Cousins has received via Netflix’s recent Quarterback documentary series.

Cousins ranked 17th in the NFL last year per a mashup of QB metrics like Pro Football Focus, DVOA, EPA/Play, and Passer Rating. He also tied an NFL record for most game-winning drives in a single season with 8 — amid the Vikings NFL record-setting 11-0 win-loss total in one-score games during head coach Kevin O’Connell’s first season.

He turns 35 next month.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by