While watching the Cardinals host the Dolphins last Sunday and witnessing Kevin Kolb throw a critical interception, I thought about how Kolb is comparable to Rick Mirer. The reason was not due to their spotty track record on the field, but rather the impressive return the teams that drafted them received after giving up on them before their supposed prime.
The Seattle Seahawks drafted Mirer with the second overall selection of the 1993 NFL Draft. Mirer had four years to prove to the team that he was the savior at quarterback. After four years and 65.2 quarterback rating, Seattle traded the shaky Notre Dame product along with a fourth-round pick to the only team that was willing to give up a first-round draft pick for his services: Chicago.
Mirer lasted only one season in Chicago as he lost the starting quarterback job to Erik Kramer, a journeyman quarterback. Mirer joined Kramer in the book of journeymen later, spending time on the rosters of the Packers, Jets, 49ers and Raiders before his career ended in 2004. While Mirer is usually not mentioned with the likes of Ryan Leaf and Jamarcus Russell as super busts because of a rookie contract that was not as lucrative, he certainly fits the profile as a low-impact draft pick drafted extremely high.
While the Seahawks reaped quality when they shipped Mirer off, the Philadelphia Eagles got quality and quantity when they moved Kevin Kolb to Arizona in one of the first big moves when the NFL lockout ended. A second -round draft choice from Houston, Kolb was traded to Arizona for a proven talent, cornerback Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, and a second-round draft choice in 2012. I thought the price that Arizona paid was too steep and Rodgers-Cromartie himself was a first round draft pick only three years earlier. The decision may have been questionable but it can be viewed as a necessary evil because Kurt Warner had retired and the Matt Leinart ship had sailed.
Like Mirer before him, Kolb lost his job to a less-heralded alternative that the franchise did not have much invested in comparably. Kolb’s Cardinals team is undefeated as of now, but I attribute that more to the remarkable talent that is Larry Fitzgerald and a solid playmaking defense.