San Francisco 49ers: How High is Colin Kaepernick’s Potential?


There’s no question that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is a stud on the football field.

Ever since he took over for the injured Alex Smith late into last year’s regular season, he has had fans and players chirping all about him and his team.

He was able to successfully take over one of the NFL’s top teams and lead them all the way to the Super Bowl, falling just short of a victory in the final seconds.

Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We all know what Kaepernick is capable of doing, but an ever bigger question becomes: How high is his potential?

Well, I for one, believe that his potential is through the roof. Kaepernick will be entering his third season in the NFL in 2013, and he has already shown us so much. Not to mention that this past season was the first one that he actually got some real playing time, and he made some incredible plays in the games he played in.

Last year, Kaepernick threw for just under 2,000 yards to go along with 10 passing touchdowns. On the ground, he racked up 415 yards and five touchdowns.

Even better than that, in just his first playoff game, Kaepernick rose to the occasion and proved all of his doubters wrong. The Green Bay Packers did not see it coming, and he threw for 263 yards to compliment his two passing touchdowns.

That wasn’t even the best part.

On the ground, Kaepernick rushed for an NFL-record 181 yards and also had two rushing touchdowns. When he’s running loose like this, you just know that you’re witnessing something special.

After smothering the Packers at home, Kaepernick led the 49ers to a tough road win in Atlanta against the Falcons, and nearly led his team back from a huge deficit in the Super Bowl against the Ravens.

With that said, you just have to sit back and look at one key stat.

Colin Kaepernick is only 25 years old.

He is so young and so talented, and that is one of the main reasons why I say his future is incredibly bright. If you take a look at all the great things he did for the 49ers in not even a full season, can you imagine what he will have to offer next season, over a full sample size of games?

A full offseason and training camp with full-time reps with the first team will only bring him and his teammates closer together and will help him develop more connections with his guys. Especially Anquan Boldin, the veteran wide receiver who was recently acquired from the Baltimore Ravens.

November 11, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park. The 49ers and the Rams tied 24-24. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people will say that Kaepernick reminds them of Cam Newton, Russell Wilson or Robert Griffin III.

I believe that Kaepernick is better than Newton, and that a more accurate comparison would be Kaepernick to RG3 or Wilson. Those three are all tremendous passers and have a superb ability to make and extend plays with their legs.

Newton is a very mobile quarterback, but his emotions often get the best of him, which will lead him to some seriously poor performances. Also, I just don’t believe that Newton is as good of a thrower as Kaepernick, RG3 or Wilson.

The quarterback position is being redefined in the NFL. Young guys are coming into the league and running around all over the place while still showing precision and accuracy when throwing the ball. Only a fool would deny Kaepernick of being in this category of quarterbacks, and people can argue about who they think is the best one and who has the most upside, but that is just a waste of time.

Because at the end of the day, we can all agree that all four of these guys- Kaepernick, Griffin III, Newton and Wilson- have an incredible amount of p0tential and that they will all shine in the league for many years to come.