Colin Kaepernick: Why I Believe He Will Be a Successful Quarterback
If you followed us during Senior Bowl coverage it was pretty evident that I was enamored with one particular quarterback, and that was Colin Kaepernick. Scouts seem to be all over the place with Kaepernick, with some saying he is a 2nd rounder and others saying he is no better than a 5th round pick.I’m on the fence on this one, as I believe that Kaepernick is a mid-late 3rd rounder. At the same time though, I really believe he might have the best chance to be a star in the NFL.
I know people are afraid of him being a running quarterback, but Kaepernick has the arm strength, accuracy and the intelligence to be a great throwing quarterback at the next level. I was really impressed with his adaptability at the Senior Bowl and he really shined when others struggled. With the exception of Andy Dalton, every other quarterback there came from a pro style system. Yet Kaepernick was either first or second best (next to Ponder) among signal callers (personally I give the edge to Kaepernick, with the better week of practices). While it was apparent he was most comfortable working out of the shotgun, Kaepernick still looked good under center, and seemed to read defenses pretty well. When you combine his throwing skills with his size and speed, you have a heck of a prospect.
What really separates Kaepernick for me though is character. There is no doubt that Kaepernick wants to win, and wants to be a starting quarterback, but every interview I’ve seen with him or about him shows a very level headed and grounded kid. He is fiery on the field, but very normal off, he is confident in his abilities, but not cocky. He was not highly recruited out of high school (only one scholarship offer), and continuously doubted by the media, fans and scouts, yet has always proven them wrong. He displays the most characteristics of what it takes to be a winner at the next level.
Played in the Pistol offense
Needs better footwork coming from under center
Has an elongated release (a hitch in his motion)
Has the arm to make all the throws, but didn’t actually run them in college
Has to learn to read more complex defenses
Has learn when to run and when to throw at the next level.
While there are some significant concerns, none are what I’d call a deal breaker. Why? Because nothing on here questions what’s between his ears, which is the most important thing for a quarterback to have. Now I’m not saying these things don’t need to be worked on, just that given his track record of proving doubters wrong I’d bet that he works it out.
The footwork and release are the two most important, and it sounds like he is working on both this offseason. I’ll be interested to see how he throws at the combine and if the release is any cleaner (he has already said he wants to throw at the combine and welcomes the challenge). As for a lot of other things on this list they are things that ever quarterback shares, so it is just a matter of who can overcome them.
As I alluded to before, the thing that separates Colin Kaepernick for me is not his arm, speed, size or strength, but rather his attitude and intelligence. When I hear of a quarterback who not only wants to throw, but says “I will do everything at the combine, there is nothing for me to hide from NFL teams. I want to go against my competition and have everyone see!” — sign me up.
If you need more evidence of his attitude and approach, check out this online chat he did with fans, which is where that quote came from. While the questions of how he will translate into a pro style system are still there, he looked pretty good Senior Bowl week, and he only had a couple of weeks to train. Imagine how he could be with a full offseason and a good coaching staff. He will need a little bit of develop time, but I think his future is very bright.
On a personal note as a Redskins fan, this is the quarterback you should be targeting Mike Shanahan. Not Newton, not Mallett, and certainly not Locker. They have too many questions and baggage, despite having the big names. Go for the guy who wants to win and be apart of something and show your ability to develop him. If you get an extra 2nd round pick or an early 3rd, I’d very much consider pulling the trigger on Kaepernick, it could be a little high for him, but I believe in his ability to reach his potential.