Thursday, May 3, 2012

Keith Nichol heads to D.C. looking to prove himself — again

When it gets into the seventh round (and maybe even the sixth round) of the NFL Draft, there comes a point where players are better off going undrafted than getting selected.

The reason being that instead of being tied to one team, you get many suitors and can pick the team that best fits your situation. When Blair White went undrafted in 2010, he chose the Indianapolis Colts, and ended up getting decent playing time in his first season.

Todd Anderson (Rams), Garrett Celek (49ers) and Brian Linthicum (Jets) made their decisions right after the draft and signed contracts. Keith Nichol waited. The LSJ reports Nichol had a dozen teams interested in giving him a shot. He settled on the Washington Redskins, joining a familiar face: Kirk Cousins.

MLive first reported the Nichol news, although the LSJ says he hasn't officially signed with Washington yet. (Note: Joe Rexrode clarified that Nichol chose to go to D.C. mini-camp without a contract in order the keep his options open).

Nichol told the LSJ that the special teams opportunities and the lack of a physical receiver made the Skins the most-appealing option. He told MLive he's wants to show he can play any position. He will head to D.C. with Cousins for mini-camp from Friday to Sunday. Nichol will have a better gauge on his chances with the team after the weekend.

Cousins and Nichol have been attached since they started competing for the starting quarterback job at MSU in 2009. The first thing I thought when I saw the signing was, "I guess the Redskins have their Hail Mary package."

People have always tried to insert a wedge between them — trying to paint them as enemies in 2009, then figuring Nichol had to spite Cousins for winning the job and regret his move to wide receiver. That was never the case.

Each with a chip on their shoulder, the pair helped lead MSU to a Big Ten championship in 2010 and a Legends Division title in 2011. Cousins' last touchdown pass at MSU was to Nichol in the Outback Bowl. Now, they'll head to the nation's capital looking once again to prove themselves.

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