Redskins release backup QB Beck
The Redskins picked up Baylor's Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick Thursday.
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Griffin's selection was widely expected, but the Redskins caused a shock Saturday when they took Michigan State's Kirk Cousins with the 102nd pick, including to the player himself.
"I think it is a little surprising," Cousins told The Washington Times. "I was trying to forecast which teams would be looking at quarterback, and I didn't see the Redskins thinking along those lines."
The picks marked the first time the franchise took two quarterbacks in the first four rounds of the draft, according to The Washington Post.
Rex Grossman, who started 13 of 16 games last season, was re-signed in March, and 30-year-old Beck ultimately was the one who had to be let go.
"I thought we owed it to John to let him go out and find a team right away," Shanahan said.
Beck, who was acquired from the Baltimore Ravens in an August 2010 trade, went 0-3 as a starter last season, throwing four interceptions and just two touchdowns.
Shanahan coached Cousins at the Senior Bowl and described him as a "steal" late in the draft.
"In that fourth round, you're trying to find people that can make your football team," Shanahan said. "We have a little bit more depth now than we did in the past."
Cousins confirmed he received a huge endorsement from the Redskins coach.
"Coach Shanahan's words to me were he couldn't pass me up and that he was excited to have me," he said.