Why the Vikings Should Trade the 12th Pick for Kevin Kolb
The Vikings have the 12th pick in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft. While many NFL Draft purists put trading away draft picks right up there with treason, I’m from the camp that says the Vikings should go big and make the move for Kevin Kolb. But, it’s the 12th pick in the draft, you can’t trade that away. I say why not. Look at the past twenty picks from the 12th slot:
2010: Ryan Mathews
2009: Knowshon Moreno
2008: Ryan Clady
2007: Marshawn Lynch
2006: Haloti Ngata
2005: Shawne Merriman
2004: Jonathan Vilma
2003: Jimmy Kennedy
2002: Wendell Bryant
2001: Damione Lewis
2000: Shaun Ellis
1999: Cade McNown
1998: Keith Brooking
1997: Warrick Dunn
1996: Regan Upshaw
1995: Warren Sapp
1994: Aaron Glenn
1993: Patrick Bates
1992: Marco Coleman
1991: Alvin Harper
Some decent names, but aside from Warren Sapp, who slid because of character issues, the 12th pick has not been a player that changed the course of a franchise. Kevin Kolb has that potential.
Kolb was drafted in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He was the third quarterback taken in what could easily be the worst QB crop in NFL Draft history. Epic bust JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn were the top two taken. The Eagles received some criticism for taking Kolb when they had McNabb, but isn’t that the same song that was sung in Green Bay when the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers? I’m not saying Kolb has a chance to be anywhere near the quarterback that Rodgers is, but he would give them stability at the most important position in football.
Kolb has spent four years learning the game from Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg. He will be more NFL ready than someone in the draft. Bill Musgrave, the Vikings new Offensive Coordinator, has worked favorably with young quarterbacks in recent years. He was Matt Schaub’s O.C. at Virginia before helping Matt Ryan become one of the game’s best young quarterbacks with the Falcons.
While Kolb is older than the options in the NFL Draft, he’ll be just 27 when the season kicks off. He was plenty of good years in front of him. Whoever you would take in the draft would likely need a few years to be ready to play at this level. Think of this as a way of speeding up time.
Kolb had two strong performances filling in for McNabb in 2009. The Eagles had enough confidence in him that they let Donovan McNabb walk. He did enough in the offseason to hold off Michael Vick, who was gearing up to have a near MVP season.
While 2010 was a disappointment for Kolb, as he lost his job to Vick, he did salvage his reputation by turning in a near flawless performance against Atlanta in Week 6. He had a couple more bumpy starts, but I do believe the foundation has been set for Kolb. All he needs is an opportunity.
The Vikings, like the Eagles, have good young talent at the skill position. They also have some aging veterans on both sides of the ball. The window to win is now. Sure, they can wait and develop a quarterback, but when he’s ready, the rest of the team may not be.
The Eagles may be looking for too much compensation for Kolb. While I would be willing to part with the 12th pick, I wouldn’t agree to a second draft pick. Not when you would have to pay him handsomely. Not when there are still questions as to whether he can fully succeed at the position.
This article is also featured at NFLTouchdown.com, where I am the lead Vikings writer.