Evaluating Buffalo Bills Quarterback Kevin Kolb Through the Years

Kevin Kolb has had an inconsistent, injury-prone career as a starting quarterback, but could be the right man for the job in Buffalo in 2013. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

There is a strong possibility that Kevin Kolb will be the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback in 2014, at least to begin the season. While EJ Manuel is clearly the quarterback of the future, he is widely considered as raw coming out of Florida State and may need more time to develop before being put in to face NFL defenses.

The best attribute Kolb brings to the table while Manuel develops is that he has NFL starting experience on a team that needs it. In all likelihood, the Bills will feature 3-5 rookie or first-year wide receivers. Inserting a rookie quarterback with that much inexperience at wide receiver could be a recipe for disaster.

Kolb has started 21 NFL games and appeared in 32 total games. He carries at 9-12 career record as a starter. He has thrown for 5,206 yards in his career with 28 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. He has a 78.9 career passer rating and has completed 59.5 percent of his passes. He has averaged 6.9 yards per attempt.

There has been much stated about Kolb being sacked 57 times in his 15 games with the Arizona Cardinals. Considering Kolb was only sacked 20 times in 19 games with the Eagles, that looks to be more of an indicator of lackluster pass protection from the Cardinals offensive line. The Bills should offer Kolb solid protection after only allowing 23 sacks in 2011 (1st) and 30 on 2012 (10th).

It has been said that the best predictor of future performance is to evaluate past performance. By examining Kolb’s career from his college days as a Houston Cougar, and evaluating his career as a pro, we can have some idea as to what we can expect in 2013 from the 6 year pro.

College (2003-2006)

Kolb started every game in his four-year career at Houston. When his career was finished, he was ranked fourth all-time in NCAA history in passing yards. He amassed 12,964 career passing yards with 85 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. He averaged 8.3 yards per attempt. In addition, Kolb rushed for 21 career touchdowns.

NFL Draft Countdown‘s Scott Wright wrote the following scouting report about Kolb entering the 2007 NFL Draft (according to Bleeding Green Nation):

Arm strength is more than adequate and he has a very quick release…Strong and has a solid build…Protects the ball and has a good career TD / INT ratio…Durable and has a lot of experience…Solid athlete who can run a little and hurt defenses with his feet…Has everything you look for from an intangibles standpoint in terms of leadership, brains and work ethic…Extremely productive throughout his career.

Does not have the ideal height that you look for…Passing numbers were inflated by playing in a passing system…Accuracy is dodgy, especially on deep balls…Gets too many passes batted down at the line…Worked mostly out of the shotgun…Is going to have to learn how to run a pro style offense and read defenses…Didn’t always play against top competition…Mechanics and throwing motion need work.

Last name is pronounced “Cobb”…Burst onto the scene as a true freshman and ultimately became one of the most prolific passers in NCAA history… There is a lot to like about this guy but he is a tough prospect to project and he’ll have to fight the “System Quarterback” label…Could surprise and end up starting for someone.

I personally had Kolb ranked as the 104th best player in 2007 NFL Draft. The Eagles took him with their top draft selection, No. 36 overall, in 2007 as the eventual replacement for the then-30-year-old Donovan McNabb. The Eagles had concerns with McNabb at the time, considering he missed 13 total games in 2006 and 2007.

2007 Philadelphia Eagles

McNabb was able to remain healthy and started 14 games in 2007. Kolb didn’t attempt a pass in 2007 and was inactive in 10 of 16 games. A.J. Feeley was the backup quarterback in 2007, and started the two games that McNabb did not start. The Eagles were 8-8.

2008 Philadelphia Eagles

2008 was another quiet season for Kevin Kolb. Despite becoming the team’s No. 2 quarterback, Kolb did not start any games as Mcnabb played all 16 regular-season games and led the Eagles to the NFC Championship Game. Kolb did attempt his first NFL passes in 2008 and finished the season with 17 completions on 34 attempts for 144 yards. Kolb threw four interceptions and no touchdowns. He did gain valuable experience being part of the Eagles roster for their three playoff contests, although he received no playing time in this game.

2009 Philadelphia Eagles

Kolb finally got his chance to start after McNabb suffered a fractured rib against the Panthers. During Kolb’s two-week stint as starter, he threw for over 300 yards in both games, becoming the first quarterback ever to throw for more than 300 yards in each of his first two starts. He threw for 391 yards in a loss to the Saints, and 327 in a win against the Chiefs.

Following McNabb’s return, Kolb went on to appear in just 3 more games in 2009 but did not start. For the season, he completed 64.6 percent of his passes for 741 yards with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The Eagles played in one playoff game in 2009, but Kolb did not appear in the contest.

Kolb’s performance in limited action, however, did show enough for the Eagles to feel comfortable trading Donovan Mcnabb to the Washington Redskins, and move forward expecting Kolb to start in 2010.

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Houston, Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia Eagles, Quarterback Competition, Quarterbacks

One Response to “Evaluating Buffalo Bills Quarterback Kevin Kolb Through the Years”

  1. Glenn says:

    Nice work Joe! a very comprehensive look at Kolb’s career.

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