NFL Top 100 Players 2013: San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick at No. 87

By Dan Parzych
Colin Kaepernick
(Kelly L. Cox/USA Today Sports)

There were plenty of big stories to take away from the 2012 NFL season, but the argument can be made that nobody could have predicted the emergence of Colin Kaepernick as the second-year quarterback took over the starting job at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in the middle of the season.

San Francisco was forced to use Kaepernick in the middle of the season after Alex Smith suffered a concussion and head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to stick with him even when Smith was healthy again–which certainly paid off. The 49ers would eventually go on to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl before falling to the Baltimore Ravens and the argument can be made that without Kaepernick in the lineup–this may have never happened in the first place.

Now, expectations will be even higher for San Francisco as Kaepernick enters his first full season as the starter and with all of the moves made this offseason–there’s no reason why the 49ers shouldn’t be one of the top contenders in the NFC once again. If there’s anything to take away from Kaepernick during the 2012 season, it would be he’s capable of being just as dangerous on the ground as he is through the air.

Even if the team has to start the season without Michael Crabtree, expect Kaepernick to be even better during the 2013 season now that he has some NFL experience under his belt and plenty of weapons in the passing game.

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