So the Raiders had a brilliant plan to make a trade to get the quarterback they so desperately needed, and it didn’t quite work out.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated outlines the background of the Raiders’ attempt to maneuver in the 2011 NFL Draft for Colin Kaepernick, a move Kaepernick himself thought was going to happen.
“Coach [Hue] Jackson told me before the draft they were going to do everything they could to try to get me,” Kaepernick said. “I thought there was a good chance they’d pick me. I never heard anything from the 49ers before the draft after I worked out for them [at Nevada]. I just figured they weren’t interested.”
Except, they were, and they beat the Raiders to the punch.
The Raiders loved Kaepernick, and had him rated atop their board of quarterbacks (ahead of top pick Cam Newton and first-rounders Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder).
But everyone knew they loved him, so the 49ers knew who they had to get in front of.
Both teams tried to make a deal with the Patriots, owners of the 33rd overall pick, but couldn’t get it done. The 49ers were finally able to deal with Denver for the 36th spot.
“I think about it all the time, believe me,” Jackson said. “No question in my mind we wanted it to happen, and no question I thought it could happen. We wanted the kid in the worst way.”
Not getting Kaepernick then led to a string of bad decisions, from using a supplemental third-rounder on Terrelle Pryor to panicking and giving up a first and a second six months later in exchange for Carson Palmer.
Landing Kaepernick could have changed so many things, perhaps keeping Jackson on the job, and that might have kept Reggie McKenzie from taking over as General Manager a year later to blow the place up and start over.
But obviously, this was all Zak Gilbert’s fault.