The Eagles decided that Kevin Kolb was the future of the franchise at quarterback, so they were willing to deal Donovan McNabb in the division and hand over the keys to the castle. The question is, can Kolb manufacture similar, if not better, statistics?
Kolb appeared in five games in 2010, starting two. He was electric in those two starts:
- Week 2 vs. NO – 31-51, 391 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
- Week 3 vs. KC – 24-34, 327 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
It was an impressive showing, to say the least, but doing it over two weeks doesn’t tell a full story. One of those games he got 51 pass attempts, as the Eagles were in a shootout with the Saints (a 48-22 loss). The other was against the Chiefs, who were in the bottom third of league in regards to yards allowed per game through the air (231.7).
Let’s wait and see how he fairs against the physicality of the NFC East or the biting cold of Philadelphia in December before we say that, without a doubt, he can match the types of performances put up by McNabb.
Kolb does benefit from a surrounding cast that should help take the pressure off him. With Brian Westbrook consistently being forced to the sidelines with injuries the past few seasons, giving LeSean McCoy the opportunity as the RB1 was a virtual no-brainer. He was solid last season, rushing for 637 yards while adding 40 receptions for 308 yards.
He has the potential to bring the same threat in the backfield that Westbrook did for all those years. Couple that with Mike Bell, who was brought in to be the thunder to McCoy’s lightning, and you have a backfield duo that defenses cannot ignore.
We all know that DeSean Jackson is among the elite receivers in the game and Jeremy Maclin is no slouch on the other side. Throw in Brent Celek, who emerged in 2009 as one of the better receiving tight ends in the league, and the talent is at Kolb’s disposal.
The problem is, the fans in Philadelphia do not have patience for struggles. If the second round pick in 2007 gets out of the blocks slowly, they will quickly decide that the franchise made the wrong decision. That’s a huge pressure hanging over his head, which certainly could impact his results.
There’s no questioning that he has the talent to succeed. The Eagles have brought him along slowly, giving him time to learn under McNabb, but now the time has come for him to step out of the shadows and into the limelight. He has the surrounding cast to excel, but don’t simply look at his success in two starts last season and deem him a viable QB1. Surprisingly, that’s just where he’s going as according to Mock Draft Central, he’s currently the tenth quarterback being selected. That’s ahead of Joe Flacco, Brett Favre and McNabb, just to name a few.
He hasn’t proven anything yet, despite a pair of 300 yard games, especially with the pressure the Philadelphia fans will put on him. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him struggle, so I would leave him as my QB2 in all formats. Until he proves that he can produce week in and week out, he’s just too big of a gamble given some of the other options available.
What about you? Is Kolb someone you think should be considered a fantasy QB1? Why or why not?
Make sure to check out our 2010 rankings: