Harbaugh Bowl: San Francisco 49ers' Jim Harbaugh Thought Colin Kaepernick Was Best Player In 2011 Draft

By Ben Grimaldi
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has had quite the ride this year. Some of his accomplishments include leading the Niners to a division title, rushing for a quarterback record 181 yards in a playoff game and leading his team to the Super Bowl. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better for the second-year quarterback, along comes his coach with a mind-blowing proclamation.

According to Jack Harbaugh, Jim Harbaugh’s father, the 49ers head coach said that Kaepernick was the best player in the 2011 NFL draft. Not just quarterback, no–Harbaugh felt Kaepernick was the best player in the entire draft.

If you aren’t shocked by that statement, allow me to remind everyone of some of the players taken in that draft: Cam Newton, A.J. Green, Von Miller, Julio Jones, J.J. Watt, Patrick Peterson and teammate Aldon Smith, who were all chosen well before Kaepernick. If Kaepernick winds up being the best player in that draft class, then both he and Jim Harbaugh deserve some high praise.

Of course, this leads to the easiest question ever: if Harbaugh felt Kaepernick was the best player in the draft, why didn’t he just take him with the seventh pick in the draft? I’m guessing he knew that Kaepernick would still be there in the second round and he wanted to get two elite players. So far, it appears that Harbaugh was right about both since Smith and Kaepernick have been huge pieces in bringing the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

It is early in Kaepernick’s career and NFL people don’t take long to adjust to what’s going on, but it looks like drafting Kaepernick, best player or not, was a wise move. Maybe Jim didn’t want his father letting out his secret, but now that the cat is out of the bag, there are 31 other teams trying to figure out what they missed in the 2011 draft.

Whether you think Kaepernick is the best player to come out of the 2011 draft or not, he was surely the best player for the 49ers and the decision to draft him has led them to a Super Bowl.

you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi 

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