It has been widely reported that the Browns have contacted the Philadelphia Eagles about trading for QB Kevin Kolb, and with GM Tom Heckert’s connection to the Eagles and Kolb, it makes plenty of sense why there is interest. Obviously since nothing has happened yet the Eagles are likely waiting to see how new starter Michael Vick does now that the starting gig is 100% his, but it is safe to assume that the Browns interest is real. And if Kolb is ever on the trading block, the Browns have to make that move.
Now, all of this depends on the asking price, and a 1st round pick is obviously to big of a price to pay. But the Browns are in desperate need of a long term solution at QB and Kolb represents that solution. A lot of people are down on him right now, but he only has three career starts to his credit, and his numbers in those starts are pretty good. In his two starts last year against New Orleans and Kansas City, he went 55-85 for 718 yards, 4 TDs and 3 INTs. He was the first QB in NFL history to throw for over 300 yards in his first two career starts and was the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Week after Week 3. His accuracy and ability to hit on the short to intermediate routes makes him an ideal fit in the West Coast offense that Mike Holmgren will want to install eventually. And at 26, he has plenty of good years ahead of him. Again, a first round pick is way too much. But a 2nd round pick? Now I’m interested. A 3rd round pick and a 5th round pick? Sign me up. Right now, the Browns long term plans at QB are disappointing.
Jake Delhomme is 37, and might have one more serviceable year left in him (if he has any serviceability left at all). Wallace is younger, but at no point in his career has he shown the ability to be more than a backup in this league. And what the Browns saw from him last Sunday was an inaccurate QB that doesn’t read the defense well enough. Both Delhomme and Wallace are essentially backup quality QBs right now – they can win you a game or two in a pinch, but over the course of a season they don’t have enough talent in them to lead a team to the playoffs. A lot of fans are excited about 3rd round pick Colt McCoy, but what he showed in the preseason is that he is a long ways away from being a quality QB in this league. This Browns team needs a lot of help offensively right now, and cannot afford to wait multiple years for McCoy to be ready.
The other options for a long term QB are more risky, and much more expensive. Assuming the Browns have a top 5 pick in the draft next year, taking a QB is going to be seriously considered. Jake Locker from Washington, Andrew Luck from Stanford, and Ryan Mallet from Arkansas are all expected to be high picks, assuming the underclassmen Luck and Mallet come out. Locker really struggled last week against Nebraska, and even though that was just one game there are serious concerns about his mechanics an decision making. Luck and Mallet in my eyes are both high level QB prospects that have great arm strength, good fundamentals, and a savvy and confidence that is required to play QB in the NFL. But still, drafting a QB so high in the draft is always a massive risk that comes with a massive price tag. If they were to draft one of those three players and have them fail, it would really set the Browns back. Not to mention that the Browns have so many other needs on the team to address, namely RB, WR, and a pass rushing OLB. Being able to draft a Mark Ingram or an A.J. Green would greatly boost the offense that is lacking playmakers, but right now QB is a bigger need.
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ESPN’s Adam Schefter is saying that the odds of Kolb being traded in season are very slim because the Eagles don’t have anyone else who could be their backup right now, and thats fine. If Vick is the Eagles QB of the future Kolb will be available this offseason, and the Browns will be interested, as they should be. The Browns have a good amount of young talent, and aren’t as far off as many people think. But they need a QB, and they need to give that QB some weapons. The best way for the Browns to do this would be to trade for Kevin Kolb, and then spend their first round pick on a high level RB or WR. Drafting a QB in the first round could work, but it comes with so much risk at a time when the team has a good amount of needs.
This article originally appeared on LandLoyalty.com