Positives: Has impressive size and arm strength. He really does have great zip on his throws and he can make absolutely every throw thanks to his arm strength. He is very mobile and is a very good athlete for the QB position and can buy more time with his feet and is a dangerous runner when everything else breaks down. Shows pretty good ability to throw on the run and has enough maturity to check down at times to make sure his team gets some yardage. Shows the ability to go to his second read at times. Flashes nice touch on his throws to complement his impressive arm strength. I was always impressed with how well he played on critical downs for his team. He will regularly make plays on 3rd down or late in games to help his team win which speaks to his intangibles.
Negatives: He ran the pistol which means he almost never had to take snaps from under center, which means he will need to learn how to take snaps from under center and make reads from under center as well. His offense was very much geared to his skill-set because of his ability to run which really helped him rack up incredible numbers, but it doesn’t project well to the NFL. He never showed me any kind of anticipation where he could throw his receiver open when I saw him play which is concerning, and he will trust his arm too much at times and force a throw into coverage that he shouldn’t. He doesn’t have much pocket poise which is something a lot of scrambling QB’s struggle with, and he leaves the pocket prematurely regularly. He needs to protect the ball better when running with it because if not he will have fumble issues in the NFL. His mechanics need work, especially his throwing motion. It needs to be worked on a lot because he has a bit of a wind-up, so that needs to be tweaked to speed up his release.
Overall: Kaepernick has a very intriguing skill set because of his size, arm strength and athleticism but his accuracy is inconsistent, his mechanics are not very sound and while I like his intangibles I don’t know if they are enough to overcome the transition to the NFL from the Pistol offense in addition to his mechanical issues and his inconsistent accuracy. He actually reminds me a lot of Vince Young because of his build and his athletic ability and I think they might have similar careers. Kaepernick might be able to be a solid starter who extends drives with his legs and shows some ability as a passer but I don’t think he will ever be a good passer who throws accurately consistently which limits his potential as a NFL starter.
Projection: 2nd round. There have been rumors that he may even get into the 1st round which I think would be a monumental mistake, but he definitely has a great shot to go in the early 2nd round. I would pick him in the 4th round range because he does have intriguing tools but I don’t think I could pick him any earlier.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Arm Strength: 4.0
Decision Making: 2.5
Pocket Awareness: 2.0
Thanks for reading!