EAST LANSING -- Kirk Cousins was shocked to learn he'd been drafted by the Washington Redskins. He wasn't disappointed.

Cousins, who led Michigan State to back-to-back 11-win seasons for the first time in school history, was taken 102nd overall in the fourth round. He was the second quarterback selected by the Redskins. They also drafted Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick Thursday.

"I hadn't talked to them in the process at great length and didn't know they were interested, but when I saw a Virginia number on my cell phone, I knew it was a possibility," Cousins said during a teleconference. "When I answered, Coach (Mike) Shanahan told me, 'I can't pass you up and have to pick you.'

"It's a unique situation with Washington picking Robert No. 2 overall, and I didn't expect it, but Coach Shanahan knows quarterbacks. He worked with Steve Young and John Elway, and I think he (felt) getting me in the fourth round was a steal.

"I think Robert is in their immediate plans and the long-term hope for their fan base, but they wouldn't have selected me unless they believed in me. Now it's up to me to learn the playbook and support Robert, and when I get my opportunity to play, Robert will support me."

Cousins was projected to go as high as the second round but said he wasn't disappointed to go in the fourth.

"I was told second or third, but even the day before, you know in the back of your head that anybody can fall and anybody can move up," he said. "I kept an open mind and would be excited wherever I ended up, and it happened in the fourth round. I'm excited for opportunity and have to make the most of it by raising my level to that of an NFL quarterback."

He said he didn't know much about the Redskins.

"Here's what I know about Washington: It's a passionate football city with a fantastic fan base," Cousins said. "I know it's where Sammy Baugh played, and I'm going to have to learn the words to their fight song, 'Hail to the Redskins.' "

Cousins became the second Spartan taken in this year's NFL draft. Defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, who attended Saturday's spring game in East Lansing, was drafted in the second round by the Green Bay Packers on Friday night.

Four other Spartans were drafted Saturday: wide receivers Keshawn Martin and B.J. Cunningham, running back Edwin Baker and safety Trenton Robinson.

The Texans drafted Martin in the fourth round (121st overall).

"I'm a fast, quick receiver that can also return punts and kickoffs," Martin said. "I'm a good fit for the Houston Texans."

Martin scored touchdowns five different ways during his career with the Spartans.

"In college, I liked to compare myself to Percy Harvin," Martin said, referring to the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver. "I'm that type of player who can produce big plays."

The 49ers drafted Robinson in the sixth round, 180th overall.

"I had actually talked to them a couple of days before the draft," Robinson said. "They said they liked me, they asked me some questions and everything. They said they liked me, and they were definitely going to be drafting a safety. I was just excited then, and right now I just don't even really know how to feel. My dream is here, and all I have to do to get where I want to be is work hard and I know I'll have a spot there."

The Dolphins selected Cunningham in the sixth round, 183rd overall. The Chargers picked Baker in the seventh round, 250th overall.

Contact George Sipple: 313-223-4796 or gsipple@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @freepspartans.

Come back Monday, when beat writer George Sipple answers your questions in a chat at 11 a.m.

Free Press columnist Drew Sharp will answer questions about all things Detroit sports in a live chat at 11 a.m. Friday at freep.com/sports.

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    April 2012



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