Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2007 – Philadelphia Eagles Take Houston QB Kevin Kolb

NFL Draft Logo 2007 To the surprise of everyone not in their front office, the Philadelphia Eagles took Houston quarterback Kevin Kolb with the 36th pick in the draft, which was their first, having traded out of the first round to pick up a 3rd and 5th from the Dallas Cowboys.

Here is what Scouts, Inc. reports that he’s 6’3-1/8″, 218 pounds, and runs a 4.85 40. Their evaluation:

Strengths: Possesses a very good combination of size, arm strength and mobility. He has adequate height and is well-built. He shows above average arm strength with good zip on the deep out and on vertical throws. Shows good overall touch and knows how to lead his receivers on quick slants and crossing routes. Shows better accuracy in short-to-intermediate passing game than he does in the vertical passing game. He is an effective passer on the run. When on time with his delivery, he can fit the ball into tight spots that many other prospects in this class simply can’t hit. He shows good initial quickness and vision as a runner. He lacks explosive speed but is very much a threat to run. He is a tough, competitive and instinctive runner, who will break some tackles and find the first-down marker. He is intelligent and picks things up quickly. Coaches speak highly of his work ethic, leadership and dedication. He also has been extremely durable and has great experience.

Kevin Kolb Photo Weaknesses: Comes from a passer-friendly spread offensive scheme in college. He’s intelligent but his NFL learning curve could be steep — he has almost no experience in a pro-style scheme and he’s coming from the mid-major collegiate level. His decision making can be erratic and he must learn to do a better job of protecting the football. He has a bit of a wind-up delivery and will need some mechanical work in order to speed up his release. He also has a bit of a three-quarter delivery and will have too many passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, as a result. He is a streaky passer that will lose the “strike zone” at times. His deep ball sails too often. He still has room to improve in terms of finding “hot reads” and beating the blitz with his arm.

Overall: Kolb started all 13 games as a true freshman and was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year and selected to the All-Conference USA Third Team. He finished the season completing 61-percent of his attempts for 3,131 yards, 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions. In 2004, Kolb again started every game (11) and tallied 2,766 passing yards with a 56-percent completion percentage, threw 11 touchdown passes, and six interceptions. He returned for his third-consecutive year as Houston’s starter in 2005 (12 contests) and was named to the C-USA third team, when he completed 60.5-percent of his passes for 3,258 yards and 19 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. In 2006, Kolb was named the C-USA Player of the Year after he completed 67.6-percent of his attempts for 3,809 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just four interceptions during the 14-game season. Over the course of his career, he also rushed for 751 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Kolb hasn’t consistently played against top competition in college (C-USA) and he also comes from a passer-friendly spread-offense, which generates some legitimate concerns regarding his transition to the NFL game. Even with that in mind, we believe Kolb is one of the more underrated prospects in the 2007 NFL draft class. He possesses a fine combination of size, arm strength and mobility, and he has great experience as a four-year starter. Kolb has enough upside to warrant consideration late on Day 1 or early on Day 2.

So, he’s a four year starter — which Rick Gooselin points out is a huge advantage — but from a third-rate conference. Who was expected to go late on Day 1 or early Day 2 but went at the top of the 2nd round. Hmm.

Obviously, if Kolb turns out to be the second coming of Tom Brady, the Eagles brain trust will look like geniuses. Otherwise….

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It was a pleasant surprise to see Kolb go so quickly (I’m a UH alum), though I was hoping that the Houston Texans would draft him.

It’s worth pointing out that Kolb has played solidly against some strong opponents (South Carolina, Oregon, TCU), though some games are obviously better than others. The weak conference is not cause for concern (Steve McNair went to Alcorn State!), though the fact that he’s never been a part of a traditional offense may be. That’s what has really hurt the NCAA-to-NFL transition of UH QB’s in the past (Andre Ware and David Klingler, namely).

Posted by R. Alex | April 30, 2007 | 12:24 am | Permalink

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