Sitting at the number seven pick in the first round, there’s a good chance that both Missiouri’s Blaine Gabbert and Auburn’s Cam Newton will be off the board. The next tier of quarterbacks, including Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett and Washington’s Jake Locker, pose even more risk, so why not swing a deal for a player like Kolb?
To get to seven, the Eagles would have to give up almost as much as they would to the Cardinals at five, but not quite. Kolb plus 23 would be the starting point, with at least another pick involved, probably a fifth rounder. That still leaves the Eagles with plenty of picks to fill their myriad holes.
At seven, they could look at Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara (Peterson will almost definitely be gone), who would immediately start opposite Asante Samuel. If he’s off the board or they don’t want to spend that high a pick on him, the Eagles could hope that one of the star defensive tackles, Auburn’s Nick Fairley or Alabama’s Marcel Dareus falls out of the top six. In that case, it’s likely bye-bye to one or even both of their under-achieveing former first round picks Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley. The Eagles have a nice find in former undrafted free agent Antonio Dixon, and pairing him with either Fairley or Dareus would be a tremendous upgrade from the Painfully Average Brothers.
Tennessee Titans — The Titans quarterback situation is nearly as bad as the Cardinals and 49ers. The team has already said that former starter Vince Young will be traded or cut (read: cut), aging veteran Kerry Collins is an impending free agent, meaning the only other option on the roster is Rusty Smith. Exactly.
Tennessee holds the number eight pick in the first round, and it’s likely the Eagles may be less willing to package their own first with Kolb as they farther away from the top of the draft. To get to the top ten though, they may be able to add their own second round pick along with maybe next year’s second as well. Even then, that may not be enough for the Titans to move out of the first round, but again, how desperate are they? Looking at their situation, they should be scrambling like the bar lights just went on level-desperate. Kolb would look great throwing to Kenny Britt and handing off to Chris Johnson.
And with this proposed deal, the Eagles get to keep number 23, so not only can they target a corner like Amukamara at eight, they can still grab a quality offensive tackle, possibly Wisconsin mauler Gabe Carimi, a Runyan-clone, later in the round. Instant impact for a team that desperately needs a talent injection.
Minnesota Vikings — The stench of Brett Favre’s final season will be lingering in Minnesota for quite a while, but at least the Vikings are smart enough to acknowledge they are moving on, not allowing the over-exposed drama queen to infect their offseason. But unfortunately, their quarterback situation still isn’t pretty. Former second-round pick (who went at least three rounds too early) Tarvaris Jackson is a failed remnant of the Brad Childress era, a player who Childress saw as the next Donovan McNabb but who never came close. Jackson almost certainly will leave as a free agent once free agency finally begins. Then there’s Joe Webb, a talented athlete and college quarterback who is likely better served trying to make a career as a receiver, the position he was drafted as.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said a few weeks ago that he wants to find the next Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco this offseason, but with Minnesota picking at the number twelve spot in the first round, that’s not happening. There may not even be a Ryan or Flacco-level quarterback talent in this draft, and the two closest possibilities, Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton, should be long gone. The Vikings could take a risk and draft a guy like Jake Locker, who has great talent and upside but is a considerable bust-risk.
Minnesota would be much better served swinging a deal for Kevin Kolb, an already established veteran who step into an situation on a team that has all the pieces in place to compete at a Super Bowl-level — except at quarterback.
So if the Eagles were to throw in a second rounder and maybe a fourth or fifth to go with Kolb, a deal for the Vikings pick at twelve could make a lot of sense. And picking in that spot would really open up the Eagles’ options value-wise. They could reach a bit and grab a potential stud with character concerns in Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, a 6-2, 211 pound specimen that ran a 4.38 at the combine. Or if somehow Amukamara was still on the board, they could set the record for fastest card-to-the-commissioner. If not the corners, the Eagles could look at offensive tackles like Colorado’s Nate Solder or Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo, and if they’re gone reaching a bit for Carimi, Mississippi State’s Derrek Sherrod or USC’s Tyron Smith, then take Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey at 23, which would basically solve almost the entire offensive line problem in one round. If the Eagles could then find a way to open the purse a bit for free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, life would be good.
Miami Dolphins — The sting of the AJ Feeley deal still probably burns them up in Miami worse than the South Beach sun on a ginger’s bare bottom, so while it would make sense for the Dolphins to pursue Kolb, it probably won’t happen.
OK, that’s five teams, but Schefter did say “at least three”, so our math isn’t totally wrong.
Of course, this would all be moot if the NFL labor issue drags on through the draft. In that scenario, it’s almost 100% guaranteed that Kolb remains with the Eagles in 2011.
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