No player helped their draft stock more at the Senior Bowl than Colin Kaepernick. People knew he had gaudy rushing and passing numbers from his time at Nevada, but seeing him run away from bigger conference defenders while also showcasing consistent accuracy forced many to reconsider his classification as a limited small-conference star.
I admit to having never heard of the kid before the first Senior Bowl practice. It took about 15 seconds of watching for my jaw to drop. On one play, he rolled to his right, saw his receivers were covered and took off up-field with what looked like giraffe strides. Kaepernick looked more than fast, he looked special. Superior running quarterbacks are only worth attention if they can also toss the rock. Kaepernick’s accuracy far exceeded that of fellow QBs Jake Locker and Ricky Stanzi. His throwing motion and mechanics are far less-than-ideal. He has a tendency to sling the ball in a short-armed motion instead of coming over the top. It is worth noting that many analysts see that as a major issue.
When a QB is consistently hitting his targets with high velocity, whether he’s on the run or in the pocket, I start caring less about perfect mechanics. What I see is a player who many teams will pass on because he’s from a small conference with a bad throwing motion, but has the potential to be a franchise QB. His completion percentage increased every season (53.8% as a Freshman to 64.9% as a Senior). He boasts an 82/24 TD/INT ratio. Compare that to hometown favorite Jake Locker who came in at 53/35. That tells me Kaepernick made good decisions, and scored TDs. Now, add in his running. He rushed for over 1000 yards in three of his four seasons, and scored 20 more TDs on the ground in his Senior season alone. He scored 59 TDs on the ground in his four years, compared to 29 for Locker. All together, that’s 141 TDs through the air and on the ground in four seasons. Say what you want about his level of competition. Those are crazy numbers.
The Seahawks are a team that would do well to use their picks on the best talent available. It’s unlikely there will be a perfect match of value to pick in the first round at the QB position. If a player with Kaepernick’s upside is available in later rounds, the team will need to seriously consider using a pick on him. He, like Locker, will be a project. Most have him as a 3rd round pick. The Seahawks are without one of those. With the team picking toward the end of the 2nd round, and the QB position at a premium, he might be a consideration there.