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3 Expert Takes: Kirk Cousins' Potential Impact on Vikings

The Vikings Entertainment Network headed to the West Coast to visit NFL Network.'s Mike Wobschall caught up with multiple NFL Media analysts to discuss the state of the team and the division.

The Vikings voluntary offseason program is scheduled to open on April 16 at sparkling new Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, and the NFL Draft will be held April 26-28.

One of the biggest headlines across the league this offseason was Minnesota signing Kirk Cousins to a three-year deal that both parties hope leads to an even longer relationship.

Wobschall discussed the addition of the player who was viewed by many as the top available player in free agency.

"You absolutely got better. I mean, you got the jewel of the free-agent market," NFL Network *Up to the Minute *host Andrew Siciliano said. "Now, look – we know that sometimes free agency can be fool's gold, but I don't think that this is in any way the case. You went out and got the quarterback that everybody else wanted. The Cardinals wanted him. The Broncos wanted him. The Jets wanted him – maybe varying degrees of interest, but the Jets certainly did, and they were in big from what we all understand."

Siciliano said Cousins, who has passed for more than 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons, is a "heck of a quarterback" with abilities beyond the 24-23-1 record that Washington has had in that time.

"He obviously only got the Redskins to the playoffs a couple of years ago, but there are other factors there, and there are factors in play with the Vikings, I think, like taking the team that has the No. 1 defense from a year ago and all that talent, that I think it's a perfect fit," Siciliano added. "He's a Midwesterner; you guys are ready to win."

Cousins was born in Chicagoland and attended high school in Holland, Michigan, before starring at Michigan State. He was drafted in the fourth round in 2012 and spent the first six seasons of his career in Washington, becoming the Redskins starter in 2015.'s Cole Wright also is from the Chicagoland area but focused on playing baseball in high school and college.

Wright said the signing of Cousins by the Vikings, who had three different quarterbacks start at least 14 games in the past three seasons, is a "groundbreaking move" for the player and the franchise.

"I think now that he knows, 'OK, I'm still a starting quarterback, but this is the team that went out to select me,' " Wright said. "They went out and brought him in on his own accord and he could flourish. He really could."

Wobschall also caught up with former Packers and Raiders receiver James Jones of NFL Network's NFL Players Only.

Jones totaled 433 receptions for 5,861 yards and 51 touchdowns, including 14 to lead the league in 2012. He said the "biggest challenge" ahead for Cousins and Vikings receivers will be timing.

"When I run a route like this, Kirk Cousins is thinking of throwing it back shoulder," Jones said. "When I run a route like this, he's thinking about leading me. It's about having that communication, and having that [rapport] with the quarterback is going to be huge. But you don't just get that by running plays.

"That all comes in individual [drills], by yourself, talking to each other and things like that," Jones added. "I'm assuming they've all been in contact and they'll all get on the same page. Everybody is going to learn the plays, but the chemistry you're going to have with Kirk and knowing where he's trying to place the ball and knowing where he likes you to be at certain times it's going to be crucial."

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