Kevin Kolb Is Well Worth the Risk

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Kevin Kolb Is Well Worth the Risk
Al Bello/Getty Images

The much anticipated Kevin Kolb for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie finally came to fruition on Thursday with the Cardinals sending not only the former Pro Bowl cornerback to the Eagles, but also a second round draft pick.  Fans and pundits alike are berating the Cardinals for allegedly being duped by Philadelphia and overpaying for a quarterback who has yet to prove himself in the NFL.

But did the Cardinals really give up too much?  If Kevin Kolb becomes the quarterback that Ken Whisenhunt, and Andy Reid for that matter, think that he can be then of course not.  But even on face value the trade may be more balanced than what many people are giving the Cardinals credit for.

They gave up Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a first round draft pick in 2008 and a former Pro Bowler.  Former being the operative word.  Rodgers-Cromartie did not have a good season in 2010.  He was routinely targeted by opposing passing and had several embarrassing games where he allowed receivers to have career days against him, just ask Mike Williams of the Seahawks.

Regardless of how good of a coach Andy Reid may be, Rodgers-Cromartie might not be the best fit in Philadelphia, a town known for its vitriol when they feel their athletes aren’t performing like the fans think they should.  One of the major criticisms of Rodgers-Cromartie is that he doesn’t tackle opponents; rather he pushes them out of bounds.  Sometimes he’s successful, sometimes the opponents gain a few extra yards because of it.  Will that style of play go over well in a place like Philadelphia?

As far as the draft pick, it’s true that a second round pick is valuable, but perhaps not as much so to the Cardinals.  The Cardinals having a draft pick, in particular an early round pick, is like a monkey having an abacus. The monkey can sit there and play with it for a while, but in the end it really doesn’t know what to do with it will probably end up smashing it on the ground. 

Looking back at the first two picks from recent years a lot of Cardinals’ draft picks have been smashed on the ground. 

2009

Round 1: Beanie Wells-At this point a bust

Round 2: Cody Brown-Bust, was cut from the team in 2010

2008

Round 1: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie-Good pick

Round 2: Calais Campbell-Good pick

2007

Round 1: Levi Brown-Inarguable bust, Brown was recently named as one of the NFL’s least valuable players when a bored writer tried to find something to do during the lock out.

Round 2: Alan Branch-Didn’t do much until last season, which was his free agent year.  He’s only started three games in his career.

 

2006

Round 1: Matt Leinart-Bust, he’s now fighting for the back up job in Houston

Round 2: Duece Lutui-Good pick

2005

Round 1: Antrel Rolle-Drafted as a cornerback he was a bust, his move to free safety salvaged his career.

Round 2: JJ Arrington-Bust

 

So was what the Cardinals got in return worth a player that has some questions around him and a draft pick that has a better than average chance of being a bust? 

Had Kevin Kolb been in the 2011 draft he would have been the first overall pick, and he’s immensely better than any of the quarterbacks taken.  But Kolb has something else, he’s not a rookie, he’s sat and learned under one of the better coaches in the league for the last four years.  He’s a steak that’s been marinating and just needs to be put on the grill.

When paired up with Larry Fitzgerald, one of the top receivers in the game, he’s got a great chance for success.

But even if DRC returns to the shut down corner that he was in 2009 and even if Kolb never has success, credit has to be given to the Cardinals for going for it.  They targeted the best quarterback available and they got their man, which is something they’ve never done in the 22 years they’ve been in Arizona. 

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