Dec 16, 2012; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) passes the ball as tackle Anthony Davis (76) pushes New England Patriots defensive end Trevor Scott (99) away during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The San Francisco 49ers won 41-34. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Kaepernick vs. Russell Wilson: Who Will Be the Better QB in Five Years?

The NFC West has become one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. The rise is led by the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers becoming two of the league’s most talented teams.

It is no coincidence that Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson are in the driver’s seat of their respective franchises. The question is: Who will be the better quarterback in five years?

Jan 13, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles with the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter of the NFC divisional playoff game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Wilson is a very efficient quarterback. He is a player that is in the mold of game manager similar to Alex Smith. The Seahawks only called on him to throw the ball more than thirty times in three games during the regular season. He completed ten or less attempts on three different occasions last season. One of those games was a 58 – 0 win against the Arizona Cardinals.

He will frustrate opposing defenses with his elusiveness. This was shown by his third down run against the New England Patriots when he escaped the rush and ran for nine yards when they only needed four yards for the first down. Wilson can make most throws and has shown poise beyond his years. However, I feel that he has already reached his cap.

Statistically, I think what we saw last year is exactly what we will get from Wilson. His last game against the Falcons (24-36/385 yds/2 TDs) gave signs that he is capable of doing so if given the chance. The problem is, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are not likely to give him the chance to do so.

Kaepernick was given the keys to the 49ers’ offense as he gained more starts last year. He attempted thirty passes twice in a lot less games than Wilson. Kaepernick is a player that put the 49ers on his shoulders over the playoffs last year. He was highly efficient in the playoffs, especially in the game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Kaepernick is capable of defeating defenses even when they do almost everything right. There are times when all of the receivers are covered and the pocket collapses but Kaepernick steps up in the pocket and gets outside for a long run. That is very deflating for the defense.

Some have said that Kaepernick won’t last as long as Wilson because the 49ers call too many running plays for Kaepernick. This isn’t true. The majority of Kaepernick’s runs came when everything broke down and he was forced to run. Neither of these quarterbacks take a lot of hits. Both of them will frustrate defenses by running out of bounds before they can be hit, especially after the defense does almost everything right and still gets beat for the first down.

The difference between the two quarterbacks comes down to throws that Kaepernick is able to make. His deep ball accuracy is among the best in the NFL. He is really able to push the ball downfield and drop it in a bucket. Kaepernick has the edge when it comes to arm strength. He makes a living on those mid-range routes to his receivers. Look at some of the throws he made to Michael Crabtree against the Green Bay Packers during the Divisional Round or the ones that he made against the Atlanta Falcons. He puts the ball right on the money and gives his receivers the chance to run immediately after the the catch.

There is more of an upside to Kaepernick than Wilson. Kaepernick will only improve as he gets more starts under his belt. Both of these quarterbacks have shown promise, but the edge goes to Kaepernick when it comes down to which quarterback will be the better one over the next five years. Kapernick has a stronger arm and is more explosive running with the ball.

The past success of quarterbacks under Jim Harbaugh gives Kaepernick the edge as well. Harbaugh has proven himself to be a solid mentor and teacher of quarterbacks. Every quarterback that Harbaugh has coached has achieved their best under his guidance (ex. Andrew Luck, Alex Smith). Kaeprnick’s abilities and the schemes that the 49ers offense use are a perfect match.

The NFC West will remain a very competitive division with Kaepernick and Wilson guiding their teams over the coming seasons. Their teams will benefit greatly from their leadership and ability to rally their team even when it seems like they don’t have a chance. These young players took over two really good teams and made them elite. The next five years will feature some memorable clashes between these two outstanding young signal callers.

Tags: Colin Kaepernick Russell Wilson San Fransisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks

  • Hawkman54

    What a bunch of dribble – DID you not watch any of the games later in the year that RW played in ? GAME MANAGER like Alex Smith , REALLY< I mean REALLY ???? get real !


      Thanks for your comments. I suggest you go back and reread where I said the following “His last game against the Falcons (24-36/385 yds/2 TDs) gave signs that he is capable of doing so if given the chance. The problem is, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are not likely to give him the chance to do so.”

      It’s funny you mention the games later in the year. Here is a breakdown of his stats:

      vs Cardinals 7 comp 13 attempts 148 yds 1 TD 1 INT

      vs Bills 14 comp 23 attempts 205 yds 1 TD
      vs 49ers 15 comp 21 attempts 171 yds 4 TDs 1 INT
      vs Rams 15 comp 19 attempts 250 yds 1 TD

      Those sure look like game manager type numbers to me. Those stat lines are very similar to the production that Alex Smith has put up in recent times.

  • FloridaMan23455

    This is crap. First of all, Alex Smith should be starting at San Francisco. Second Russell Wilson is better than Smith and Kaepernick, even as a rookie. Lastly, Russell Wilson will get greater responsibility once Lynch falters which is sure to happen soon. Overall, Russell Wilson wins


      Thanks for your comments. It’s pretty funny how you say Alex Smith should be the starting QB in SF. That’s laughable. The other thing that is funny is how you say Lynch will falter soon. Whatever that means. You do realize he is coming off of an near 1600 yard season right?

  • jim passi

    let see what did we here all last year he’s to short
    he cant see over the other players
    did Russ inprove from his first 5 games yes a lot better
    will he inprove in the next few years yes
    will he be any better or worse than Kap
    i guess we have to wait till than to see


      Thanks for your comments. Yes, it is clearly a case of “have to wait to see.” I actually was not one of the ones that doubted Russell Wilson because of his height. I surely didn’t expect him to do what he did though. I felt that if he was able to play at the same height behind that massive OL at Univ of Wisconsin, the NFL wouldn’t be an issue. I actually pointed to the fact that a 6-4 Ryan Tannehill had more balls batted down than Wilson did as evidence of how little his size matters.

  • Don Kiser

    Physical abilities are comparable. It gets down to who is a thinking man’s quarterback. I don’t believe Colin puts in the homework Russell does. He’s in
    the film room all the time, he knows who is facing to the max. Time will tell but for me Wilson gets the nod.


      Thanks for your comments. I don’t feel that physical abilities are comparable. Kaepernick has a much stronger arm and is a much more explosive player. I do like the way Russell Wilson plays. He gained a new level of respect from me when he led a near comeback against the Falcons in the divisional playoffs.

      You would be surprised by the amount of prep that Kaepernick puts in. He is given the freedom to make checks at the LOS and does so with a good degree of success. Those who are in the building at Santa Clara say he puts in a lot of time.

      Time will surely tell, but it is a lot of fun looking at these two young QBs.

  • Howard

    Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.


      Not exactly sure what you were attempting to accomplish here but never the less, thanks for reading.

  • AdAstraGames

    Russell Wilson has a rocket of an arm. His offense doesn’t have him making the longer passes due to the differences in philosophies. I think Wilson does have a lower possible ceiling than Kaepernick, but both of them have a ceiling that’s in the “Roethlisberger/Eli Manning” range.

    I think you’re seriously underestimating Wilson’s accuracy, given the types of throws he has to make into traffic, and the kinds of throws he makes midfield after a play has broken down.

    Your “game manager” stats are built off of three games where the combined scoring margin was 150 to 30, games where Wilson was taken out because the game was completely won, and nobody wanted to risk him getting hurt.

    In terms of ESPN’s Total QBR, no quarterback in the NFL had a higher QBR over the last 8 games than Russell Wilson. Second highest was Aaron Rodgers. Kaepernick was in the top five.

    What I will say is that this is going to be a fun season to watch.

    Go Hawks!


      Thank you for your comments. The games that I highlighted were simply in response to the comments about how well he did down the stretch. I felt his “Game manager” moniker was due to the full season. So let’s be clear on that one. The article pointed out how he was called upon to make more than thirty attempts only three times during the season.
      As for the accuracy, I was not questioning his accuracy. I was simply stating that Kaepernick is MORE accurate downfield an has better arm strength to get the ball outside of the numbers. No question Russell Wilson can get the ball in tight spaces. Look at that ball he threw to Sidney Rice in the Bears game.
      The QBR rating is not a stat that I take into importance. A QB can go 14/14 and not throw a pass over 15 yards and have a QBR for that game that is off the charts. I look at yards per attempt (Kaepernik lead the NFL with 8.3yds) and third down conversion percentage.
      Without a doubt, both QBs are a delight to watch. The NFC West is back and that is in large part thanks to both of these young QBs.

  • Bainbridge Bill

    The key is decision making. Advantage Wilson


      Thanks for your comments. Actually, key is winning. Kaepernick led 49ers to Super Bowl.

  • SkeleTony X

    I am a Hawk fan and I will admit Kaepernick is a great QB. I would not bet against him. But these two QBs are pretty even at this point. Only time and circumstance will tell who, if either, is better. RW can throw it as far and as accurately as any QB would ever need to so your arm strength bit is, at best hair splitting and at worst pure speculation.
    I understand homerism but seriously guy. It is too early to make such statements (many of them unqualified assertions).


      Thanks for your comments. Actually, arm strength bit as you call it is not hair splitting. Kaepernick clearly has a stronger arm and is more accurate downfield. It is not speculation. Watch the downfield throws that he makes. As I stated above, he was TOPS in the NFL last year with an average of 8.3 yards per attempt.
      There is no homerism here. My comments are based off of objective observations and conversations that I have had with other people in the media. Your notion that homerism is applied is the typical response for a fan when they don’t agree.
      Truth be told, I love watching Wilson and the Seahawks play.

      • SkeleTony X

        Yes, just like my preference for vanilla flavored ice cream is based off of objective observations. Have Kaepernick and Wilson lined up to see who can throw farther and how much farther? Because if not then this is simple hair-splitting homerism here regardless of your protests. You are a fan of the 49ers, just like I am a fan of the Seahawks. Both of us will weigh the evidence in favor of our guys.


          It’s funny that you again resort to the homerism notion. Fact is, Kaeprnick is known for having one of the strongest arms in the NFL. The same can not be said for Russell Wilson. I invite you to watch the downfield throws that Kaepernick makes. You will see that he is very, very accurate.

  • losangelesfootball?

    My friends and I have this same discussion almost every week during happy hour. Definitely a toss up at this point and hard to pick a favorite. To prove this, we just have to ask ourselves, “if I were the GM/Owner of either team, would I trade quarterbacks”. I think we could ask 100 people this question and 99.5 people would respond “NO”. Both quarterbacks are excellent and I’d be happy to be a fan of either team right now. (can I get a hollah from any other Dolphins fans out there)
    The only objection I have is your defense that you are not being biased or there is no homerism involved. Just read your responses to EVERY post and comment left here. It’s obvious.
    Now, there’s nothing wrong with being biased or having a hometown favorite. It’s just the fact that you deny it and state that you are basing things from “objective observations and conversations you’ve had with people in the media” – that’s the part that triggered me to waste my time on this post.

    - Your comments stating Kaepernick is “much more” better at certain stats
    - Stating that “RW has reached his ceiling” – Really?!? He just finished his rookie year!
    - “Kaepernick led his team to the superbowl” – Alex Smith led this same team one game from the superbowl the year before.
    - “objective observations and conversations you’ve had with people in the media” – your local media which is obviously going to lean towards Kaepernick
    - Your little side compliments to Russell Wilson to throw people off guard, when it’s OBVIOUS you are a Kaepernick fan


      Thank you for your comments. Actually, FYI I am a fan of Russell Wilson also. I enjoy watching him play and was actually a fan before he got to the Seahawks and became the man to many of these Seahawks fans.

      You misinterpereted what I said regarding Russell Wilson reaching his ceiling. “Statistically, I think what we saw last year is exactly what we will get from Wilson. The problem is, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are not likely to give him the chance to do so.”

      My siding with Kaepernick over Russell Wilson has nothing to do with any bias or homerism. Choosing one over the other should not cause you to make accusations. If I pointed out that Kaepernick is better at certain stats that doesn’t mean that I am biased.

      You said that Alex Smith led the same team one game from the Super Bowl the year before, however that has little relevance. This 49er team with Kaepernick at the helm came back from a large deficit on the road to win the NFC Championship. In case you missed it, the 2011 49ers LOST at home. They converted 1 out of 13 3rd down conversions. Of course the two muffled punts didn’t help either.

      When I watch the 49ers, I am objective. The conversations that I have had include many hosts of SiriusXM NFL radio, a few NFL scouts and actual players in the NFL. FYI my local media is Philadelphia so before you make off based comments know what it is you are talking about.

      To answer your question, yes I am a Kaepernick fan. But using your delusional theory, anyone who chooses one player over the other and backs his statement is biased or a homer.