Two Patriots on 'next Kolb' list

Chris Sprow, a senior editor for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Insider, posts a piece today in which he examines possibilities for "the next Kevin Kolb" (Insider content). Kolb, of course, is the former Eagles backup who became a hot commodity on the trade market after serving as a backup.

Of Sprow's 10 choices, the Patriots are represented twice, with Brian Hoyer (No. 3 ranking) and Ryan Mallett (No. 8 ranking).

Hoyer is edged out by only Matt Flynn (Packers) and Jimmy Clausen (Panthers), with Sprow noting, "Personnel folks around the league have taken notice. And given that Matt Cassel has proven his skills aren't limited to the New England system, Hoyer's mere existence in that role is currency."

As for Mallett, Sprow calls him a "cheap asset that someone else might value more."

This piece ties in to one of the themes of tonight's preseason opener, as Hoyer and Mallett figure to play a lot.