In one of the most memorable debut seasons of all-time, Colin Kaepernick showed that he could be the future of the quarterback position in the NFL. Never before have we seen a quarterback with the ability to succeed as a passer and runner quite like Kaepernick.
His performance in the San Francisco 49ers‘ first round playoff victory, was video game-like. I even remember Tony Kornheiser remarking, ‘he looked like the greatest football player of all-time.’ On that night, he was probably dang close.
The sky is the limit with Colin Kaepernick, no doubt about it. But we are talking about the NFL, a league that’s also filled with great defenses. Even average defenses can draw up a package to at least limit a quarterback like Kaepernick.
It will be one of the more intriguing storylines to follow going into next season – how will Kaepernick respond after defenses have an entire off-season to prepare for him? Sure, at the same time he will be able to study up on defensive schemes, but I’m willing to bet the learning curve is a bit larger for the QB position.
I’m confident Kaepernick will do just fine. What I like the most is that he seems to be comfortable in the pocket. He’s not a run-first QB, and that’s the way it needs to stay. That’s what Jim Harbaugh will instill in him. He knows more than anyone, that to be successful on the highest level in the NFL, you have to be able to stand in there and deliver under pressure.
There’s always going to be a place for ‘quarterback keepers’ in the playbook, and anytime the 49ers want to run it with Kaepernick, they can. But if he just puts the focus on evolving as a pocket-passer, there won’t be any defense in the league that can stop him. How far away that time is? I’m not quite sure, but we’ll know a lot more by around week eight next season.