Doesn't get the ball out of his hands real quickly and because of his lack of great base will lose balance easily on his wind-up which causes a lot of passers to sail on him in the intermediate pass game. Does a nice job transferring his weight into throws when he has time, but lacks ideal timing as well because of the wind up and will end up throwing behind receivers as well when he needs to get the ball out quickly. Showcases a much better feel and touch in the short passing game and does a nice job throwing with good ball location in the bubble screen game.
Is an above-average athlete who can buy time for himself in the pocket and once he gets those long legs going he does have the kind of speed to be effective in the open field. However, it takes him awhile to get up to speed and he isn't real strong or physical when asked to break tackles. Runs upright, gives defenders a lot of area to hit and isn't a guy who can routinely slip/break tackles. Does a nice job keeping his eyes up in the face of the rush and when he moves around in the pocket he still is looking to create the big pass play with his second life. Throws well on the move, displays good touch down the field and looks very comfortable rolling across his body. Has been a winner and seasoned starter at Nevada for four years and has enough talent to warrant some development as a later round/FA pick.
Impression: Doesn't seem to warrant the type of lofty draft pick a lot of people are making him out to be as he needs to calm down his throwing motion and learn to throw with a bit more base. But he's a hard worker who has come a long way and is an interesting guy to have in a NFL camp."
Positives: Three-year starter is a tremendous athlete and a very mobile prospect who set too many college records to count. Strong arm, can laser the ball, also has a 90-plus mph fastball as a baseball pitcher. Reads defenses well and has nice touch. Outstanding ability to escape the pass rush and throw accurately on the move. Can be very accurate in streaks with good footwork from the pocket. Extremely fast and agile for size. Top intangibles: determined athlete, durable team leader, tough, hard worker.
Negatives: Has a windup and a full hitch in his motion from the pocket, and too many throws get batted down. Outside the pocket, throwing motion varies considerably. Accuracy is inconsistent. Tall thin frame is not ideal for taking a lot of NFL hits. Did not take a lot of snaps from under center. Doesn't do a great job securing the ball while running. Comes from an offensive system noted for producing big college statistics, but not a lot of quality NFL quarterbacks."
Arm Strength: Kaepernick has an above average throwing arm. He has excellent zip on all his passes at every level of the field. He gets the ball quickly out to his targets on screen plays and slant routes providing them with space to make a defender miss. His intermediate throws arrive on a line and get to their targets in a hurry. Kaepernick's arm strength allows him to put pressure on the defense by attacking deep down the field. The entire field is in play when Kaepernick is behind center.
Decision Making: For the most part Kaepernick takes care of the football. However, he tends to get in trouble in the middle of the field. He doesn't always account for the safety and will attempt to squeeze a ball into tight spaces. It is tough to get a good read on his decision making skills because of how his ability to run the ball impacts a defense. Kaepernick rarely faced the type of schemes he will face in the NFL and that is due to the threat he posed running the football. He was effective running the Pistol Offense in college but he will need to start from scratch in the NFL.
Field Vision: As I mentioned in the Decision Making section, Kaepernick was a beneficiary of defensive coordinators game planning against his running ability. Prior to the snap, Kaepernick did an excellent job directing traffic and calling plays from the line of scrimmage. Nevada often ran a no huddle offense where Kaepernick had some responsibility for making the calls on the fly. With the ball in his hands, he did a nice job scanning the field looking for a open target. He was patient while going across the field with his progressions and didn't panic when his first option was covered. Overall, Kaepernick was able to take in what the defense game him and make sound decisions.
Mechanics: Whatever NFL team drafts Kaepernick is going to spend considerable amount of time working on his technique. It starts with his lack of experience with taking snaps from under center where he needs to work on remaining balance while scanning the field. It is not an easy adjustment to make and is sure to take time to perfect. While in the pocket, Kaepernick has a loose grasp on the ball and allows it to dip below his breast plate. These wasted motions combined with a long release impacts his ability to get the football out of his hand quickly. Kaepernick does not set his feet and shoulders towards his target which directly impacts his accuracy. After he identifies his target he throws a flat footed ball. He doesnt step into his throws and often swings his back foot out which limits the amount of power he can generate on his throws.
Pocket Awareness: Kaepernick has a great feel for the pocket and the athletic ablitiy to escape the rush. He possesses the speed to damage a defense by out running angles and gaining yards on the ground. When faced with pressure he keeps his eyes down field looking for an open target. I noticed that when the play is a designed pass he prefers to throw the football. A common misconception might be that because of his speed Kaepernick prefers to run with the ball, that isn't the case. The only concern I have is that when forced out of the pocket all resemblance of proper technique gets thrown out the window.
Games Viewed: Boston College, California, Boise State, Senior Bowl
Final Word: When it comes to athletic ability Kaepernick is right up there with the likes of Cam Newton. However, like Cam he struggles with the fundamentals of playing quarterback. His abilities will intrigue a team and might lead to an earlier than expected selection. But he is going to need time to develop as his technique is far from NFL ready. Ultimately, Kaepernick is a player with a ton of upside but legitimate question marks."
Colin Kaepernick is a prospect on the rise.
Kaepernick was a three sport star who received many scholarship offers to play college baseball, as well as football. He starred as a basketball player as well, but football was his ultimate passion, despite being clocked as high as a 94 MPH fast ball, and being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2009, despite not having played baseball in three years.
Kaepernick still wasn’t highly recruited in football, however, but wanted to play it regardless, and ultimately took a scholarship offer from Nevada. After redshirting in 2006, Kaepernick began seeing playing time as a freshman in 2007, and started his first game in October of 2007. From that day he started every game for the Wolfpack, and is one of only three players in history to have thrown for 20 touchdowns and rush for 20 touchdowns in one season. The other two players are Tim Tebow and Cam Newton… You may have heard of them.
Kaepernick’s athleticism is what sets him apart from most of the other quarterbacks in this draft, not named Cam Newton or Tyrod Taylor. He’s a long strider who makes a ton of plays on his feet, and he evades pressure with ease. But in terms or passing, Kaepernick is quite underrated. He puts good zip on his passes, and has very solid arm strength. While his accuracy isn’t amazing, it’s still better than what many want to give him credit for. He puts good touch on his passes and makes passes towards the sidelines on come backs, hitches, outs and flags look easy. Kaepernick does do a nice job checking down to different receivers, and loves to use his tight end (Virgil Green) as a receiver. He’s a natural leader, and is a smart football player, and is very coachable.
Kaepernick’s mechanics will need to be addressed at the next level. He has a slow wind up, and tends to hold the ball a bit too low. His decision making is somewhat questionable, sometimes forcing throws. Playing in a Pistol offense that is a run first, read offense, he never really was highlighted as a passing quarterback. Kaepernick will need to prove that he can set his feet and throw the ball with zip and accuracy, and he will need to improve on his deep ball accuracy. At times he tends to lob the ball into deep coverage, sometimes getting bailed out by a receiver. He didn’t face much big time competition playing in the WAC, which also brings up red flags, but he will get a chance to prove doubters wrong at the NFL Combine.
Kaepernick’s stock will only rise over the course of the NFL Draft season. His athleticism is extremely tough to ignore, and we’ve seen guys like Tim Tebow and Vince Young who had mechanics problems with their throwing motions drafted in the first round. Still, Kaepernick is going to be a guy who rises into the second or third round, and will be developed for at least a season or two to become a starter. Look for teams like Tennessee, Washington, Minnesota, San Francisco, Seattle, and Oakland to take a hard look at him in the second round, or third round at the very least. He’s a talented player who should impress at the combine, and is rumored to run a sub 4.50 forty yard dash.
Player Comparison: Josh Freeman"
Positive: Tall, athletic quarterback prospect who possesses a tremendous amount of upside. Patient in the pocket and displays terrific awareness as well as field presence. Buys time for receivers and displays a sense of timing and terrific pass placement. Accurate and consistently puts throws where only his receiver can make the reception. Throws a catchable ball, possesses a strong arm, and his passes immediately get to the intended target. Drives the short and intermediate throws, gets the ball through tight spots, and hits deep receivers in stride. Makes solid decisions in the pocket, tossing the ball away rather than forcing passes to covered receivers. Stands strong against the rush to get the pass off but also has the ability to scramble away from defenders and avoid the sack. Solid carrying the ball, displaying elusiveness, speed, and some strength.
Negative: Throws with a three-quarters/side-arm delivery, which seems to sap him of downfield arm strength. Does not consistently make proper reads. Throws the ball off his back foot, which results in errant passes. Holds the ball little too long in the pocket.
Analysis: Kaepernick has been a productive college quarterback who's game has consistently progressed. Besides his physical skills, he offers terrific intangibles and does more then rely on his strong arm or nimble feet to make plays. He has starting potential at the next level but will need more time to develop his game."
Negatives: Puts a little too much loft under his deep outs... Misses too many easy throws... Receivers have to adjust to too many of his passes... Deep throws are all over the place... Tries to do too much with his feet, runs with the ball far too often when he should keep his eyes downfield to throw... Has a thin build... Will take a ton of big hits in the NFL if he doesn't change his playing style... Plays in Nevada's Pistol offense... Will need to learn to take snaps from under center... A project player, athletic, but needs a lot of coaching... May have to switch position to find a spot on an NFL roster."
Strengths: Strong arm with great velocity and very accurate - career passer rating of 143.2 - also able to be accurate on the run and as well as in the pocket. Height allows great visibility. Has developed into a pass-first player, despite great rushing stats (which is an artifact of the pistol offense that takes advantage of his running ability.) Makes excellent decisions, with just 23 career interceptions in 1238 throws with 81 TDs in 50 games. Has great leadership and competitive nature that is necessary in a quarterback. Extremely durable and tough considering the number of carries and games he has played.
Weaknesses: Nevada's pistol offense has not prepared him with drop-back reads that NFL QBs must make and has limited his experience under-center. 'Wind-mill' style throwing motion slows his release. Quality of competition may also figure against him in GM's minds.
Projection: 2nd round. Has invitations to both Senior and Shrine Bowls so he will have an excellent opportunity to showcase his skills - I believe he is among the three best QBs in this draft and is a first round talent - negative perceptions of the WAC and pistol offense will drop him to the 2nd round and some sharp team will get a tremendous bargain."
In 2009 the Nevada passing game was not quite as effective, as the 6-6 signal caller threw for just over 2,000 yards0 (but he was one of three 1,000 yard rushers on the team that season). Kaepernick also accounted for 36 touchdowns. Through eight games in the 2010 season, Kaepernick is again well on his way to reaching 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards.
What makes Kaepernick such an interesting NFL prospect is his size. At 6-6 and 225 pounds, he looks like an NFL quarterback. He certainly lacks the arm strength and passing accuracy of a top tier prospect, but he can make some decent throws. He will have to show off his arm during senior week and at the NFL combine, but some team should take a chance on him by the third or fourth round."
When I look at how these Scouts and Analysts regard a QuarterBack, I don't give a rat's ass about how far he can throw it on a wire, or how fast he runs the 40: Anyone who thinks that those Skills are the most critical ones in assessing a QuarterBack's ability to lead a team to a Championship have overlooked the last 90 years of History.
When I look at how these Scouts and Analysts regard a QuarterBack, 90% of my evaluation derives from comments on his Processing Speed, his Decision Making, his Field Vision, his Pocket Presence, and his Mechanics.
An exciting player with phenomenal skills, it remains an open question ~ to me, at least ~ if Colin Kaepernick's best Pro position is QuarterBack, or if he would be best be served as a Wing Back or even Wide Receiver.
Still, there's no question that as a QB, he commands an intoxicating blend of Speed + Fire Power. I'd say he's about a 4th Rounder, give or take, for a team that's willing to invest time ~ and Risk ~ in refining his considerable skills, which have not had much opportunity to develop in The Pistol.
His current projection ~ the second round ~ seems far too high, to me.
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