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Colin Kaepernick may be making Cutler-like climb

Colin Kaepernick

In 2006, Jay Cutler took the Senior Bowl practice field after starting all four years at Vanderbilt. In his final start, Cutler engineered a 28-24 upset of Tennessee, giving the Commodores their first victory over the Vols in 15 years.  Observers knew of Cutler’s impressive arm and athleticism, but he lacked a high profile because Vandy didn’t win much.

Cutler went on to blow away scouts in Mobile with his quick release, accuracy, and arm power. He earned the Senior Bowl start for the North squad, winning 31-14. Three months later, Cutler was selected with the 11th pick in the draft.

In 2011, Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick took the Senior Bowl practice field as a four-year college starter coming off impressive wins over undefeated Boise State and Boston College in the Fight Hunger Bowl. Observers knew Kaepernick could throw a baseball 95 mph and was a former Cubs draft pick. They also knew of Kaepernick’s athleticism. He averaged 6.85 yards per college rushing attempt, joining Missouri’s Brad Smith as the only players in NCAA history to top 8,000 yards passing and 4,000 rushing. Onlookers questioned Kaepernick’s ability to play in a pro-style offense coming from Nevada coach Chris Ault’s pistol spread.

Like Cutler in ’06, Kaepernick appears to have silenced doubters.

According to FOX Sports’ Adam Caplan, Kaepernick was “great” on Monday and “by far” the best quarterback in practice on Wednesday. CBS’ Rob Rang noted Kaepernick’s “spectacular” arm strength. Rotoworld’s Michael Schottey observed that Kaepernick “threw the ball as well as anyone,” generating “buzz from team scouts.”

Asked about more heralded Washington QB Jake Locker, NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan replied “The kid from Nevada … has shined on top of him a little bit.”

Of course, NFL Network’s Mike Mayock already knew about Kaepernick’s “huge” arm. At the 2010 Manning Quarterback camp, Mayock recalled seeing Eli and Peyton so awed they were “giggling” about the 23-year-old’s howitzer. Said Mayock after watching one of Kaepernick’s Thursday throws, “Did you see the RPMs there? Man, I’d love to work with that kid.”

Kaepernick entered the Senior Bowl with a middle-round projection. Could he make a Cutler-like jump into the first round?

The arrow seems to point in that direction.

In Tony Pauline of SI.com’s blog, Kaepernick is already suggested as second-round prospect while reportedly drawing significant interest from the Dolphins and Vikings. Citing a league source, the Palm Beach Post seconds Pauline’s report in saying the Dolphins “think very highly” of Kaepernick.

The Sacramento Bee‘s Matt Barrows capped it with this clincher:

“One scout told me (Kaepernick) might have made the most money of any Senior Bowl player this week.”

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22 Responses to “Colin Kaepernick may be making Cutler-like climb”
  1. FinFan68 says: Jan 27, 2011 3:49 PM

    A cannon is great but not nearly as important as the ability to read a defense and inspire confidence in the huddle. Hope the kid is smart too, because the dumb guys with big arms don’t make it

  2. joetoronto says: Jan 27, 2011 3:55 PM

    Is he tough?

  3. godofwine330 says: Jan 27, 2011 4:11 PM

    Joining Brad Smith as the only players to rush for 4K and pass for 8K? Not goot qualities if you intend on being an NFL QB. Brad Smith plays receiver and kick returner…and was never even considered to play QB at the NFL level. He can always be the next Matt Jones…hopefully without the coke.

  4. bamasucks says: Jan 27, 2011 4:22 PM

    Kaepernick going in the 1st round makes a lot more sense than Jake Locker,imo. i’ll never understand why Locker’s projected to go in the 1st round. he sucks.

  5. theo547 says: Jan 27, 2011 4:28 PM

    This guys like Culter, but he can run (maybe walk also)?! sounds like the Bears know who they are taking in the first round…. ohh yea they dont have a 1st rounder.

  6. romoscollarbone says: Jan 27, 2011 4:40 PM

    For some reason I saw a fair amount of Nevada games this year. I came away impressed w/ the kid. He has a good demeanor on field. Looks like he commands the huddle. If he can break down an NFL level D within a year or two, he could be special. Has all the tools. Pretty quick as well.

  7. dbellina says: Jan 27, 2011 4:58 PM

    Dude, why do you have to bring more attention to guys like this, when I want my team to draft them?

  8. bearsfanohio says: Jan 27, 2011 5:04 PM

    @theo547

    Lots wrong with your post. First, Cutler can scramble. Second, the Bears do have a first round draft pick this year. With that pick they will probably be picking either a wide receiver or an o-lineman, because they aren’t ignorant meatheads like everyone who is questioning Cutler’s toughness. But, everything else you said was spot on.

  9. chhutson27 says: Jan 27, 2011 5:07 PM

    Actually theo547, they do have a first rounder. Nice try though. Someone an upset Seahawks fan or something? I wish my favorite team made it as far as the Bears did.

  10. stinkfingers says: Jan 27, 2011 5:24 PM

    You know who else had “howitzers”? Ryan Leaf, Jeff George, and JaMarcus Russell.

    Its a great assett for a QB to have, but there are things more important that a strong arm.

  11. granadafan says: Jan 27, 2011 5:38 PM

    He’s nothing like Cutlter. Kaepernick cares about his teammates.

  12. theo547 says: Jan 27, 2011 5:44 PM

    chhutson27 says:
    Jan 27, 2011 5:07 PM
    Actually theo547, they do have a first rounder. Nice try though. Someone an upset Seahawks fan or something? I wish my favorite team made it as far as the Bears did.

    <<< Packer fan ;)

    Mine did

    Just figured i would Troll a little

  13. buckybadger says: Jan 27, 2011 6:05 PM

    Yes the Bears have a first rounder but their track record with those picks isn’t great.

  14. cappa662 says: Jan 27, 2011 6:08 PM

    Jamarcus had a huge arm, but absolutely no accuracy or pocket awareness.

  15. usetabe says: Jan 27, 2011 6:20 PM

    This week he showed he could move around in the pocket, which is the question asked of all spread formation quarterbacks. He has a lot of positives, damn nice kid, hard worker, tough (couldn’t have run for all those yards if he wasn’t), strong arm and he was hitting receivers on the break, his only negatives seem to be his throwing motion and the fact he was born is Wisconsin.

  16. coolzog says: Jan 27, 2011 6:30 PM

    The Dolphins fans better hope they don’t spend a second rounder on this guy. Spending their second round pick on a QB has been a sure fire way to guarantee a bust is recent years.

  17. dempsey63 says: Jan 27, 2011 6:54 PM

    “Colin Kaepernick may be making Cutler-like climb”

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Oh, I thought Silva was making a stairway joke.

  18. FinFan68 says: Jan 27, 2011 7:15 PM

    I like the kid but I believe he will probably suck as an NFL QB…only because the Dolphins have said they think very highly of him and their track record of picking QBs since Marino has been absolutely horrible.

  19. jc1958coo says: Jan 27, 2011 7:27 PM

    if he doesn’t get tears in his eyes, when someone criticies him, he’s worth a pick!! two maybe three picks like gay butler!!!

  20. drumbug7 says: Jan 27, 2011 9:23 PM

    “Observers knew of Cutler’s impressive arm and athleticism, but he lacked a high profile because Vandy didn’t win much”

    Vandy didnt win much. Denver didn’t win much. Jury’s still out on Chicago. Notice a trend?

  21. brasho says: Jan 28, 2011 12:16 AM

    I’ve been singing his praises for a while now on draftcountdown.com and saying he would be a top 64 pick.

    For those of you unfamiliar with Kaepernick, he is very very similar to Randall Cunningham. Some of his similarities are downright freaky, all the way down to his rocket arm, release, speed, skinny build, and having played his college ball in the state of Nevada.

    Kaepernick is 6’5 225, has excellent straight line speed (4.5), a great arm with a bit of a loop in his throwing motion and he’s only the second player in NCAA history to pass for 3,00 0 and rush for 1000 two years in a row. He’s also just the 3rd guy to ever pass for 20 TDs and run for 20 TDs in the same season.

    I don’t think he is a guy that is going to come in and start right away, but with good coaching and a little patience, CK could be a find for a team in about two years.

  22. vikingqueen13 says: Jan 28, 2011 1:04 PM

    I personally know Colin’s parents. I went to HS with them in New London WI. I have seen Colin play many, many times. For those of you who were wondering . . . COLIN KAEPERNICK is the TOTAL PKG. He has the stats to back him up. Also CK is Very smart, talented and humble as well. Great parents with great values!! Any NFL team will be lucky to have him. He will get the job done!!!!

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