In April of 2007, the Philadelphia Eagles made a confounding selection by taking Kevin Kolb in Round 2 of the draft. Since then, the passer out of the University of Houston attempted 319 passes, completing 194 of them (60.8 percent) for 2,082 yards (6.5 yards/att.) with 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 64 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
The Cardinals felt this player was worth a second-round pick, a competent cornerback and a five-year contract worth $63 million including $20 million guaranteed.
OK, fine. Four of the 14 career interceptions came in sparse playing time over his second season, and many other meandering totals came in similar appearances. If you count only the five games he started, Kolb completed 130 of 203 passes (64 percent) for 1,552 yards (7.64 yards/att.) with nine touchdowns and six interceptions along with a rushing touchdown.
We think those are the stats the Cardinals honed in on when evaluating Kolb. And those are the kind of stats they're going to come to expect from him.
The addition of Kolb solidifies a huge position of need for Arizona, one that they've essentially left unfilled since Kurt Warner retired before last season. Kolb gives them a mobile passer with an above-average arm who may not be experienced but does have a lot of potential and athleticism. Moreover, it's a player who, if brought along successfully, can pilot the organization for a decade. That's why the Cardinals gave up so much for him.
But the reality is that save for some nifty starts in 2009 and 2010, no one can confidently say that Kolb will be a stat monster and that he'll keep Larry Fitzgerald's numbers strong. Is he better than what the Cardinals had last season? Sure, but that doesn't mean he's the next Matt Schaub. To be successful, he'll not only have to absorb the Cardinals' offense in the span of about two weeks but also develop chemistry with all of the Cardinals' skill-position players, all of whom are iffy once you get past Fitzgerald.
So even though Kolb is a hot prospect who will toss to Fitzgerald (the two reportedly worked out together already this summer), Fantasy owners shouldn't fall in love with him so quickly. That's actually a good thing -- because Kolb will be eyeballed but not desired to the degree of Matthew Stafford or Sam Bradford, owners will be able to snare him with a pick starting in Round 9 or 10. To invest in a quarterback at that point and have him not work out won't crush your roster. Of course, if an owner invests in him with that middle- to late-round pick and he does work out, then it makes for big Fantasy success. Thus, Kolb is simply another blue-chip No. 2 Fantasy quarterback with low risk and high reward potential.
If there's a winner here, it's actually Fitzgerald. Last year he put up his worst numbers in four years with a collection of bumbling quarterbacks that would make Spergon Wynn blush. But those numbers were still pretty good: 90 grabs for 1,137 yards and six touchdowns. Fitzgerald should be able to improve on that stat line considerably with Kolb under center.
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