I was never a Kevin Kolb fan. In a lot of ways he reminds me of the pitching prospects that have been moving through Philly in recent years. Kendrick, Happ and now Worley. Some success, some promise, but nothing really dynamic. It’s always best to sell high on these guys in my opinion. Because, isn’t Kolb really just a more polished A.J. Feeley? The deal sending Kolb to Arizona for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick was finalized Thursday afternoon, and it allows the Eagles to get on with the business of signing Michael Vick and not having any linebackers. Kolb will receive an extension from the Cardinals.
Kolb’s real value is simply that he’s a rarity. It is a lot harder than you’d think to find someone who can play the quarterback position with any aplomb. There are 32 teams and far fewer quality quarterbacks. Depending on your definition, upwards of 20 teams could honestly use an upgrade. They just aren’t out there, though, and so teams constantly draft them high or overpay for unproven guys like Kolb. The mentored backup seems to be a popular route to getting a quarterback these days. People see Aaron Rodgers, or even a guy like Matt Schaub, Matt Cassell and they think that any quarterback they pluck from a good system is going to flourish.
I doubt that will be the case with Kolb. He could very well be serviceable, if he can stay on the field. He lasted all of 1/2 of football last season and that more than anything sealed his fate in Philadelphia. You had to be able to run and hide to play quarterback in Philly last year and Kolb couldn’t do either. I just don’t see a skill that is going to allow Kolb to progress to elite status. His numbers, on a good team with plenty of talent around him were not good. A touted accurate thrower Kolb completes 61% of his passes (not an eye-popping figure, especially in this offense), he’s thrown 14 picks to 11 INTs and his career rating is just 73.2. I honestly have no idea why Larry Fitzgerald was so interested in getting him to Arizona. I guess a year of working with DA, Max Hall and John Skelton can skew your perspective. Kolb probably looked like Jeff George out there casually throwing lasers.
But even with Fitzgerald and the decent receiving corps in place, Arizona is not the sweetest landing spot. The Cardinals yielded 50 sacks last year and Kolb is no magician in the pocket. The running game in Arizona is a mess. They were dead last in the league in 2010 in rushing yards per game. This isn’t going to be like Aaron Rodgers stepping in for the Packers, and it isn’t even going to be like Kolb taking over the reins for the Eagles. Kolb is given a 5-11 team and asked to make something happen. It’s a huge risk by the Cards, but like I said, they don’t have much choice. Burn more picks? Kyle Orton? Pick your poison.
The trade for the Eagles will get a lot better if the Cardinals don’t have a good year and that 2nd rounder turns into a high pick. Otherwise, Rodgers-Cromartie is definitely an upgrade for the secondary, but still plenty of questions on defense for the Eagles, like who is going to make tackles? Bottom line? See you later, Kolb. It was a nightmare while it lasted.