Philadelphia Eagles Will Benefit From Questioned 2011 Rookie Quarterback Class

Bob Cunningham@BCunningham215Senior Analyst IFebruary 18, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02:  Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys on January 2, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Before the 2010 season, it looked like the NCAA was going to send a few franchise quarterbacks to the NFL and perhaps even a superstar or two.

Now, however, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Mike Mayock, the only guy really worth listening to when it comes to the draft (outside of more amateur guys like Tommy Lawlor), doesn't seem to really love any of these quarterbacks.

Blaine Gabbert is a guy most people outside of hardcore college football fans hadn't really heard about, but now he seems to be the consensus top quarterback in this class since Andrew Luck decided to return to Stanford.

After Gabbert, most can't even commit to any of the other guys being worth a first-round grade.

Ryan Mallett and Jake Locker were guys once looked at as potential No. 1 overall picks; now they could both fall out of the first round. Were there not so many teams in need of a quarterback and just itching to reach for one in the first round, they'd almost certainly be second-day picks.

Fortunately for the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans, they have a quarterback in Michael Vick. After his breakout 2010 season in which he won Comeback Player of the Year after posting career bests in nearly every major statistical category, Vick was slapped with the franchise tag and is almost certain to receive a long-term deal.

Not only does the team have Vick, but it's got a backup in Kevin Kolb who is becoming more and more popular by the day, as more and more flaws come out about these incoming rookie quarterbacks.

A team like the San Francisco 49ers, for instance, is said to be kicking around the idea of giving up the seventh overall pick in the draft for Kolb instead of reaching for Gabbert, Mallett or Locker. They could probably draft one of the latter in the second round, but teams this year appear more ready to give up picks for a veteran guy in Kolb who has shown flashes of brilliance.

Teams like the Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings also have picks in the top-half of the draft and are said to be seriously considering Kolb as an option in lieu of taking a shot on one of those rookies.

There's obviously still a lot of work to be done on the incoming rookie class and the opinions about the players could change after the combine, pro days and individual team workouts. But for now, the feeling on this group is lukewarm at best.

This will cause Kolb to be shone in a much brighter light than normal and result in the Eagles getting a much sweeter deal for him because of it.

I still maintain now, as I did a few weeks ago, that Kolb is not worth anything more than perhaps a third-round pick, but it's looking like I severely misjudged the feeling of the other teams around the league. Actually, more to the point, I might have overlooked just how down the league is on this incoming rookie class of quarterbacks and how quickly the teams have been willing to internally overrate Kolb.

As I've pointed out before, Kolb's career performances have been far less than stellar, and to say he's actually worth a first-round pick is like saying Tim Tebow coming out of Florida would be worth a first-round pick.

Yes, I'm aware that actually happened, but unfortunately for the Eagles, Josh McDaniels is no longer a head coach given the honor of running a team into the ground.

Any team willing to give up a first-round pick for Kolb is going to make a lot of Eagles fans very happy, but will likely disappoint and frustrate fans of their own. Kolb is not a first-round talent now, just as he was not a second-round talent in 2007.

The coach that actually pulls the trigger and parts with a first-round pick for Kolb is essentially signing his own pink slip. As a starter, Kolb will prove to be an interception machine who I believe will never exceed the success of Derek Anderson or Alex Smith on an individual level.