Making the NFL’s Top 100 List is an honor. During the league’s offseason period, players vote for one another in determining the game’s best players, while writers, analysts and fans are left out of the picture. According to Colin Kaepernick’s peers, they have him ranked at No. 81, which is far too low.
A case can be made for justifying his spot in that we need to see more from him. Kaepernick only had 10 total starts last season and was part of a talented San Francisco 49ers team that featured star players on both sides of the ball. The 49ers made the NFC Championship Game in 2011, and prior to taking over in Week 11, Alex Smith led them to a 6-2-1 record.
But in those starts, Kaepernick made a profound impact for his team. Heading into his first start on the bright Monday night stage, he had to take on the Chicago Bears, who were masters at forcing turnovers and allowed just over 16 points per game at the time. Apparently the spotlight did not phase him, as he led San Francisco to a 32-7 win while throwing for two touchdowns and having a passer rating of 133.1.
Aside from his poor play in a Week 16 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, Kaepernick was very efficient in each of his starts. Throughout the 2012 campaign, he defeated the likes of Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. In the Super Bowl, Kaepernick came close to helping his 49ers overcome a 22-point deficit.
The young signal-caller has a ways to go before he can be grouped with the elite quarterbacks, but for 2012, he was a top quarterback in terms of impact and playmaking ability. Kaepernick proved that he was not only an accurate passer, but he also demonstrated that he could break off a big run on any snap. His record-setting 181 rushing yards in the Divisional Round of the playoffs is an example of that.
Overall, Kaepernick had an incredible season considering his circumstance. However, he will need to string together a full season of thrilling performances if he wants to see his name rise up on next year’s Top 100 List.
Given his talent and drive to win, it wouldn’t be a surprise.