If you’re a hardcore football fan like me, chances are you’ve spent the past few days on twitter, Rotoworld, NFL.com and ESPN to get updates on the latest free agency buzz. Of course the headliner on Thursday was the “blockbuster” trade between the Eagles and the Cardinals. In case you didn’t hear, the Cardinals shipped cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick to the Eagles for quarterback Kevin Kolb. There’s some mixed feelings regarding this trade and I feel strongly one way about this trade so I figured I’d write an article about it.
Is Kevin Kolb worth it? Not even close. First, let’s get a bit of a background check on Kevin Kolb to see just what type of player he is.
Entering the draft out of Houston, Kolb was rated as a mid round pick in what might ultimately be the worst QB class of all time. Seriously, the top QB’s in that class we’re JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Drew Stanton, Trent Edwards and John Beck. He wasn’t regarded as a top prospect and really only had 1 great year at Houston.
Flash forward the draft where the Eagles reached for him in the early 2nd round. I remember the pick was quite shocking and Eagles fans, who we’re getting tired of Donovan McNabb, we’re quick to hop on the Kolb bandwagon. After all, the back-up in Philly is always the savior, so it seems.
Now to the important stuff, his NFL resume. Here is a guy who the Cardinals traded for hoping to be a franchise QB. You’d expect to see some great numbers, right? Well, you’d be wrong. In his career, Kolb has made a whopping total of 7 starts in 4 years. His career stat line of 2,082 passing yards, 6.5 avg, 11 TD, 14 INT leaves a lot to be desired. His best starts last year we’re against the Falcons and the Titans. The Titans had the 4th worst pass defense while the Falcons had the 11th worst. Not exactly great competition. I guess he “burst onto the scene” in 2009 when he made two starts against the Saints and the Chiefs. The Eagles promptly got blown out by the Saints and Kolb tossed 3 picks. The next game he faced a poor Chiefs squad and lit them up. The Chiefs we’re horrible in 2009 though, so it’s not much of an accomplishment to play well against a 4-12 team.
It should be noted that Andy Reid’s offense is widely regarded as very QB friendly. After all, even an aging Jeff Garcia was able to step in and post some great numbers. On top of that, the Eagles have a lot of talent on offense, certainly one of the most lethal offenses in the league. Yet, Kolb was still not able to put up good numbers.
Alright, so we established that his numbers are quite poor playing in a QB friendly offense on a good team, and that his best games came against weak competition meanwhile he’s struggled when playing better defenses. Maybe it’s not all in the stats though, so let’s take a deeper look.
Kolb was regarded as a bit of a field general coming out of Houston. He was smart and could pick apart defenses. Unfortunately, this has not translated into the NFL. After 4 years in the league, Kolb still routinely checks down and has earned the infamous “Captain Checkdown” nickname, which isn’t exactly flattering. This is backed up by his very poor career yards per attempt average of just 6.5. That would have placed him tied for 26th in the league amongst starters last year ahead of only Derek Anderson, Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen. Ouch.
On top of that, his accuracy is inconsistent at best, especially down field. He struggles to lead open receivers. He is prone to making bad decisions under pressure and he’ll be seeing a lot of pressure behind Arizona’s offensive line. He doesn’t have a rocket arm, although it’s not necessary and he tends to stare down a lot of his receivers. Basically, after 4 years in the league Kolb still plays very much like a rookie.
The Eagles won this trade by a landslide. Kolb probably wasn’t even worth the 2nd rounder alone but on top of it they also got a young corner who still has a lot of upside. I know Cardinals, and Cougars fans (wouldn’t be the first time), might flame me for this article but I’m calling it like I see it. I don’t see Kolb being a franchise QB. He’s not a winner. He might put up some great passing numbers which I’m sure will make him gold in the mind of fantasy football fans, but it won’t make the Cardinals contenders. I didn’t even mention how grossly overpaid he’s going to be which will make this trade sting just a little bit more for Cardinals fans.