Why San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s play is an audition for 31 other teams and why the 49ers can ill afford to pass on QB early in the draft.
Colin Kaepernick’s future with the 49ers is up in the air. In the off-season, he requested a trade, completed with the Denver Broncos, but fell through because Kaepernick didn’t want to take a substantial pay cut. The organization recently reworked his contract which will allow him to become a free agent next year.
There’s been some speculation through some media pundits who believe that because of Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, his best option next season will be in San Francisco as other teams may deem him too much of a distraction.
His play has been up and down this season, he plays well in the first half, and then in the second half, he goes on streaks of incomplete passes. (Sunday against the Patriots, he had nine consecutive incompletions, after going 10-12 in the first half). https://www.Nfl.com
Important To Note: Kaep’s Stats by Halves.
- First half: 70-132 comp/at, camp pct. 53.0%, 938 passing yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions, with a passer rating of 82.2.
- Second half: 36/94 comp/at, comp pct. 38%, 398 passing yards, one touchdown and zero interception, with a passer rating of 55.2.
Even if he returns to the roster for the 2017 season, the 49ers would be wise to draft a quarterback in the next draft. The team must find a franchise quarterback they can build around if they want to return to relevance in the league. They currently own the second-worst record in the league now at 1-9. The 49ers will have a top five draft pick next year most likely.
Here is a look at some college quarterback prospects at a glance that have a chance of being selected by the Niners next year.
Deshaun Watson, Clemson
- Good arm talent and athleticism
- Dangerous running the ball in the open field
- Throws the ball deep effectively
- Comes from a spread offense, must adjust to Pro-style offensive reads
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
- Very strong arm
- Can zip in into tight windows, or put touch under his throws
- Must improve accuracy on throws to second read
- Good fit for a vertical offense
Brad Kaaya, Miami
- Four-year starter
- Can go through multiple reads and find the open receiver
- Excels in the short passing game
- Must work on being accurate consistently
In conclusion, both Kaepernick and the 49ers front office have a big decision at the end of the season. Will this marriage continue? Or will this marriage be headed for a divorce? Is it worth continuing this relationship? And how much are they willing to pay him moving forward if their forced to? On the other hand, Kaepernick has flashed playmaking ability at times, but needs to be more consistent in the second half. He needs to show the top brass he can lead a team and be a franchise caliber quarterback, which those thoughts or expectations have come and gone since 2011-2013.
There’s a possibility that Chip Kelly may not return next season based on the lackluster season the team has had so far or he could bolt back to College. So, could there be a new coaching staff next season? Maybe, however, more than likely Kelly gets a pass his first year regardless of his many areas of opportunities he has while leaving much to be desired in the halftime adjustments department, to say the least.
Will Colin want to stay? Or is he auditioning for his 31 other teams? Or will he want an entirely fresh start? In the end, regardless of how Kaepernick plays moving forward, the 49ers have to look towards the future and find a franchise quarterback or a fourth round gem like Dak Prescott potentially.
Niners Live Bonus Notes: The following weeks will give fans and the 49ers a better idea of what could conspire this off-season. If Colin raises his level and play and becomes a hot free agent commodity, it’s almost a given he will leave. If he continues to struggle, he may stay because he knows he has the best chance to start with the Niners potentially. Remember: “Eyes wide open.” And GO NINERS!!
All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author Jimi Payne. Co-Author, Editor Niners Live.