"Kolb had a private workout with the New England Patriots last week immediately following his pro day workout," Pauline said. "Kolb threw 80 passes for the Patriots and was very accurate all day. Most impressive was the fact Kolb was asked to throw patterns and passes which were completely different from those run during his pro day.
"Kolb really helped himself with a solid string of practice performances during Senior Bowl week."
Two teams that scout.com talked to recently believe Kolb now projects as a clear first day selection and a likely second-rounder.
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 Houston, completing 964 of his 1,565 passes (62 percent) for 12,964 yards and 85 touchdowns, all school records. He knew how to protect 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 Houstons record books, as he is the schools 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. Thats where a lot of my focus is, and thats 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 wasnt dropping back, hitting my foot on the seventh step and then throwing it. But Ive 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, thats how a quarterback has to play, said Kolb of his attitude toward marquee games. Luckily, I did play well and its nice to have that as an attribute the ability to play well in big games.
The Patriots need a talented backup behind Tom Brady, and other than just one game against the Dolphins, Matt Cassel has yet to prove he's the guy. New England took a flyer on Cassel by spending a seventh round pick on the former USC Trojan who is best known for being a backup to Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. The Patriots have already checked in on Michigan State's Drew Stanton and UTEP's Jordan Palmer. New England also hosted Washington's Isaiah Stanback.
Vinny Testaverde is ready to head back to the couch unless the Patriots call him for another playoff run. His absence leaves a hole the Patriots need to fill with more than just Brady and Cassel's arms. While the Patriots could still sign a free agent quarterback, it's more likely they Draft another quarterback, and Kolb could be a good fit for the Parrots offense, especially one that emphasizes not making dumb mistakes by throwing an interception at the wrong time.
Michael Lombardo of SDBoltReport.com contributed to this report.