The 49ers’ second-round pick of the 2011 NFL Draft made waves more than once last week.
On Friday, it was reported that Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick underwent a minor procedure on his lower left leg. The news came one day after general manager Trent Baalke spoke positively to reporters about Kaepernick’s chances of becoming a talented pro signal caller.
The 49ers were aware of Kaepernick’s lingering injury and remain confident that the 6-foot-5, 233-pounder will be ready for the 2011 NFL season.
But when examining Baalke’s comments last Thursday and in previous interviews, it’s clear that the 49ers view Kaepernick as a player they believe in.
For one, Baalke and the 49ers were enthused by Kaepernick’s size, dubbing it, “pro stature.”
“That’s what you’re looking for in the position,” the general manager noted.
With size, Kaepernick is able to make a variety of throws from multiple arm angles. “He’s got a big time arm,” said Baalke while breaking down a few of Kaepernick’s collegiate throws.
In one example, Kaepernick took a snap in Nevada’s “Pistol offense” (which begins with a shortened shotgun snap), surveyed the field to his left, looked back to his right and then anticipated an opening in the defense by throwing a ball to an uncovered receiver between multiple defenders.
“If you can’t make this throw in the NFL,” Baalke said, “You can’t play long.”
It was the type of throw that required, accuracy, arm strength and good decision-making – all the things Baalke and the 49ers wanted in a quarterback.
In addition, Kaepernick can be a dual-threat at the position as well.
Having been the only NCAA player to throw for more than 10,000 yards and rush for 4,000 yards, Baalke said the 49ers won’t ignore those skills and that teams will have to prepare for quarterback-designed runs. If anything, it’s just another facet opposing defenses will have to spend time preparing to stop.
Baalke later asked the room of reporters, “Who’s to say we’re not going to have him in the pistol?”
Because Kaepernick’s not afraid to use his 4.5, 40-yard dash speed, it wasn’t out of the question to see the athletic quarterback throw on the move.
Baalke said it’s what makes Kaepernick such a special player.
On one of Kaepernick’s highlights, he avoided a pass rusher in the backfield, and then rifled a laser pass down the left sideline while escaping to his left.
“If you’ve ever tried to do it,” Baalke said of throwing on the run,” It’s a hard thing to do.”
Baalke said the 49ers are comfortable with Kaepernick’s release, but will work with him on protecting the football in the pocket. The team will also work on developing Kaepernick’s drop-back ability in the pocket.
Tuesday on Goal Posts, we’ll examine Baalke’s comments on South Carolina cornerback Chris Culliver.
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Trent Baalke
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