Rising QB could be the perfect Plan B

The 2007 draft class is top-heavy at quarterback, with JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn seemingly light-years ahead of their competition. However, there is another intriguing quarterback prospect, one with four years of starting experience, numerous accolades to his name and uncanny accuracy. A middle-round prospect, he could deliver big results on a much smaller investment.

Kevin Kolb (6-foot-3, 220 lbs.) is one of the most accomplished players in the draft. He was a starter throughout his four-year career at the University of Houston, completing 964 of his 1,565 passes (62 percent) for 12,964 yards and 85 touchdowns, all school records. He also took care of the ball, throwing just 31 interceptions.

Following the 2006 season, he was named first-team All-Conference USA and was a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm finalist. His name is all over Houston's record books, as he is the school's all-time leader in total offense (13,715 yards) and touchdowns responsible for (106) in addition to the marks above.

"The biggest thing for a quarterback is to play consistently," Kolb said. "That's where a lot of my focus is, and that's where it was all of last year."

His stellar play earned him an invite to the Senior Bowl. During his time there, Kolb consistently threw tight spirals and showed good accuracy on the majority of his passes. Also impressive were his footwork and his overall mobility.

He did have trouble with his deep passes, as his arm strength seemed to be nothing to boast about. Additionally, he too often stared down his primary target. He received limited time during the Senior Bowl, completing two of his four passes for 14 yards.

However, his efficiency throughout the week more than offset that modest performance and he helped improve his overall stock. Just as importantly, he proved he can play in a more traditional offense than he did in college.

"A lot of it was me moving around, pump-faking and that type of stuff," said Kolb of his collegiate offense. "I wasn't dropping back, hitting my foot on the seventh step and then throwing it. But I've been working on that since the day after our season ended and I feel pretty comfortable now."

In addition to his improving comfort level, Kolb is also helped by his reputation as a player who does his best when the stakes are highest. As a senior, he led an upset of Oklahoma State and nearly did the same against the University of Miami.

"You try not to get too hyped up for it because you have to stay calm, that's how a quarterback has to play," said Kolb of his attitude toward marquee games. "Luckily, I did play well and it's nice to have that as an attribute – the ability to play well in big games."

Kolb is a gamer with a résumé more loaded than Britney Spears on a Friday night. So even though he won't be drafted nearly as high as Russell or Quinn, he may give some team just as much bang for its buck.


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