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Saturday, July 9, 2011
Weekend mailbag: Kolb, Beck, Nnamdi, etc.

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

You ask, I answer. It's the weekend mailbag, and there's nothing else quite like it.

Bill Hart from "Eagles area," wherever that is, asks: "Where would you rank Kevin Kolb in relation to the quarterbacks selected in the first round? I've seen several reports that question his value. Isn't the experience with the Eagles for something?"

Dan Graziano: No question, Bill. If Kolb had somehow been able to enter this year's draft, he would have gone No. 1 overall, ahead of any of the other quarterbacks that were taken. He has experience playing in and winning NFL games, and that's why teams like Arizona and Seattle are going to be interested enough to trade first-round picks for him. He has greater value to the Eagles as a trade chip than he does as a player, because his value as a trade chip (i.e., the way interested teams value him) is "starting quarterback." But he is not a starting quarterback for the Eagles, because they already have one. So, it appears, he will be traded for something quite valuable.


Jon from Atlanta wants the Cowboys to sign Nnamdi Asomugha, but he's wondering, if they could sign Johnathan Joseph, Cullen Jenkins and Eric Weddle (or Michael Huff) "for the same price as Asomugha, wouldn't that be a larger upgrade to the Defense as a whole?"

DG: Well, yeah. But it would also mean that Nnamdi got the largest contract in sports history or that those other three guys all got much smaller deals than expected. The Cowboys are going to have to make some tough choices if the cap concerns are as many expect. I don't think they're going to be able to get top-choice guys at all three of those spots -- safety, corner and defensive end. My guess is they'll prioritize the safety position, though I'm sure Nnamdi will be tempting, as he should be.


Chrissy from Patchogue wanted me to take a question about the Giants' punting situation. Specifically, "What are your thoughts about that adventure Matt Dodge called a season last fall? What do you think the future holds here?"

DG: Well, Chrissy, they like a lot of things about Dodge. He has a very strong leg, and his 2010 numbers reflect that. He is young and, they believe, talented, and they're not about to kick him out of town after a shaky rookie season. I do believe, however, that he'll need to show improvement in some key areas in order to last a full second season. Special teams were a major problem for the Giants last season, and for all the good and encouraging things Dodge did, his mistakes were severe and glaring and a big part of that problem. He suffers in comparison to his predecessor, Ridgewood's own Jeff Feagles, who was the master of directional punting and worked with Dodge some last season. But he's got the ability to be very good, and so far they're determined to show a little more patience with him.


Adam in Washington, D.C., asks: "Haynesworth for Orton- who says no? I agree with staying flexible going into next year's draft, but no Redskins fan in his/her right mind buys John Beck or Rex Grossman as a league average starting quarterback."

DG: The Broncos say no. And on that note...


Mike S. from Bethany Beach, Del., asks the following: "Dan, am I the only one in Redskins nation that has forgotten where Tom Brady came from before the 'Tom Brady' we know today emerged? That's why I feel that Beck could be that type of player. Your thoughts?"

DG: Mike, my thoughts are that, if you're making that comparison, you have forgotten where Brady came from. Tom Brady beat out Drew Henson to be a two-year starter at the University of Michigan. His last college game was a comeback victory in the Orange Bowl over Alabama in which he threw four touchdown passes. Brady was drafted much lower than he should have been, but that doesn't mean he was some nobody who'd never accomplished anything and then blossomed once he got a shot in the NFL. I think the comparison is imperfect at best, and that the Redskins would be absolutely thrilled if Beck's closest NFL comparison turned out to be somebody like Jon Kitna. I think asking for Brady is aiming a little high.

Hope everybody is having a lovely weekend.