By FRANK WARD
While the national media came away impressed with new Eagles starting signal caller Kevin Kolb as an interview and a person, the question remains as to where they rank him among NFL QBs to start the season.
ESPN.com’s John Clayton revealed his ranking of NFL QBs today, and divided them into three tiers: Elite, Chad Pennington Division, and Hit or Miss. Clayton then gives odds on how likely a QB can reach Elite status.
To be fair from the onset, his Hit or Miss category is for unproven players. And, since they are young, it’s probably where they belong to start the season.
Kevin Kolb is listed as the 24th best QB to start the season according to Clayton. Here’s what he says about Kolb: “Kolb is the perfect quarterback for Andy Reid’s West Coast offense, which is why the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb to the Redskins. Kolb is a rhythm passer out of three- and five-step drops, and he should have a big statistical year.“
OK, so if he should have a big statistical year, and is perfect for Reid’s offense, how do you rank him 24th? How is he behind Jason Campbell and Alex Smith? The answer is, Clayton’s system is flawed. He shouldn’t have ranked them 1-33. (The Steelers get two spots because Big Ben couldn’t keep his pants zipped this offseason).
I doubt Clayton actually thinks Kolb is the 24th best QB. However, with the way he categorized them, and subsequently numbered them, that’s where the Eagles offensive leader sits.
Honestly, Clayton could have done this a bit better. To start with, he has 14 passers ranked as Elite guys. Doesn’t that water down the definition of the word? Elite means the top three, amybe five, guys at a position. Not 14. Do Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan and Eli Manning fall into the elite right now? Is Donovan McNabb still a true elite QB right now? All are very good and — as of right now — likely to be ranked higher than Kolb based on their body of work. But elite? Really?
Again, there is no issue in the category Kolb is grouped in. However, putting him as No. 24 in the league seems a bit low. That could change by season’s end. Clayton does give Kolb a 50-50 shot to develop into an elite guy — whatever that means in Clayton lingo.