The Young Guns of the NFL

There were a lot of quarterbacks taken in these last two drafts. A lot of quarterback who were supposed to save, or at least straighten out, a lot of franchises. In 2011 you had:

  1. Carolina Panthers – Round 1 (1) – Cam Newton, Auburn
  2. Tennessee Titans – Round 1 (8) – Jake Locker, Washington
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Round 1 (10) – Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
  4. Minnesota Vikings – Round 1 (12) – Christian Ponder, Florida State
  5. Cincinnati Bengals – Round 2 (35) – Andy Dalton, TCU
  6. San Francisco 49ers – Round 2 (36) – Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
  7. New England Patriots – Round 3 (74) – Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
  8. Kansas City Chiefs – Round 5 (135) – Ricky Stanzi, Iowa
  9. Houston Texans – Round 5 (152) – Taylor Yates, North Carolina
  10. Chicago Bears – Round 5 (160) – Nathan Enderle, Idaho
  11. Baltimore Ravens – Round 6 (180) – Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech
  12. New York Jets – Round 7 (208) – Greg McElroy, Alabama

In 2012 you had:

  1. Andrew Luck Stanford 1 (1) Indianapolis
  2. Robert Griffin III Baylor 1  (2) Washington
  3. Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M 1  (8) Miami
  4. Brandon Weeden Oklahoma State 1 (22) Cleveland
  5. Brock Osweiler Arizona State 2 (57) Denver
  6. Russell Wilson Wisconsin 3 (75) Seattle
  7. Nick Foles Arizona 3 (88) Philadelphia
  8. Kirk Cousins Michigan State 4  (102) Washington
  9. Ryan Lindley San Diego State 6  (185) Arizona
  10. B.J. Coleman Chattanooga 7  (243) Green Bay
  11. Chandler Harnish Northern Illinois 7 (253) Indianapolis

That being said, the Niners draft of Colin Kaepernick, a guy Baalke traded up 9 spots for, was seen as a project. A guy who would hold the clipboard for a couple years, and maybe get his shot in 2013, or maybe not til 2014. Cam Newton took the NFL by storm and put up monster numbers while watching his defense give up tons of points themselves, and then crashed back to earth as Carolina kept losing. Locker sat behind Hasselbeck for 2011, and had a pretty crappy injury plagued 2012. Christian Ponder started hot for Minn, but slowly faded, and got hurt down the stretch his rookie year, but followed that up with a 2012 season that saw him lead Minnesota to the playoffs, only to miss the game with a tricep injury. Ginger Dalton led the improbable Cincinnati Bengals to the playoffs in 2011 only to crash and burn in the playoffs with 3 turnovers. In 2012, Dalton again led Cincy to the playoffs, only to crater as Dalton missed wide open guys deep, and couldn’t generate any offense for the Bengals. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin the 3 were supposed to come in and show their mettle, and both came through in spades as both led their teams to playoff berths. The surprise of the 2012 draft was Russell Wilson, the Seattle phenom who stole the spotlight from just about everyone else in the NFL.

The rest? Not named Colin Kaepernick? Well, McElroy for ther Jets got a start over Timmy Tebow, and bit it. No one else did anything of note. Which brings us to Colin Kaepernick. He has maintained since draft day that he thought he should have gone higher. That he was a 1st rounder. There were insiders who said he was one of the top 3 QBs of the draft back then. Of course they are saying that NOW as he leads the 49ers into the Super Bowl.

Now? All that is ancient history. The NFL is abuzz over Colin Kaepernick. The crazy thing about all this is that Harbaugh even made the move. Yeah, Alex Smith got hurt, but the usual protocol of course says the starter gets his job back when the starter gets well. As we all know this didn’t happen. But you still have to wonder if Harbaugh would have pulled the trigger for some other reason had Smith not gotten hurt. You can go nutty with the ‘what-if’ game, but really, if Smith doesn’t get hurt, are we here in the Super Bowl? Would Smith have lost a few games and been benched for Kappy anyway? Would Smith have led us to the Super Bowl? Was this the only path? These are all valid questions, but the fact remains, Colin Kaepernick, in his 10th start as a professional football player for the San francisco 49ers, is leading his team into Super Bowl 47. Unfrickingbelievable. To say his future looks bright is the understatement of the year.

Sure, there have been guys who have faded after a hot start, Cam Newton is a recent example, but he really didn’t do worse than his opening year. His team ‘improved’ one game, but they are still not very good. Kaepernick on the other hand appears to have the football world at his feet. Should he win this next game, he’ll be the new face of the current crop NFL quarterbacks. Young, brash, inked-up, and ready to mow you down running, or killing you with laser dart passes. Yeah, Seattle and Washington have their versions of the run and gun QB in Griffin and Wilson. But, as Kappy has shown, he’s bigger and faster than both, and is already looking out for his own self-preservation. Throw in old-school passer Luck (who is fairly nimble in a sneaky-fast way), and the future of the quarterback position in the NFL looks pretty damn exciting lo these next 10-15 years.

Kappy gets one in 10 days, and he’s got a head start on the rest of these guys.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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49 Responses to The Young Guns of the NFL

  1. unca_chuck says:

    Hey Grumpy, I meant to ask you about your post of the day. What’s a phone booth?

  2. Like 12th man said (and we should listen to Man, right? He’s our scoring challenge leader going into the SB): Niners by 2 scores = 10-14 points because of CK’s threat to run and pass. Pick yer poison.

    Colin Kaepernick: Baltimore Ravens Won’t Have Answer to QB’s Dual-Threat Ability
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1494965-colin-kaepernick-baltimore-ravens-wont-have-answer-to-qbs-dual-threat-ability

    • NoFear49er says:

      I don’t remember reading 12th man’s rationale for his conclusion but the guy that wrote that article doesn’t know WTF he’s talking about. According to his analysis the QB of any team with a good RB will have all the time in the world to decide what to do with the ball. The read-option doesn’t work like that. Play-action pass plays sometimes do but only against defenses that can’t defend the run and can’t get pressure with three rushing linemen.

    • Man should answer that hisself but here’s some of his quotes:
      “The x factor is Kap, Ravens are vulnerable to a read option, highly mobile QB,
      especially on the edges. They will honor the run game and try to take away the deep stuff. If Kap gets to the second level he can be gone. The underneath stuff and play action deep combined with read option run game will overwhelm the Ravens D.”

      “It’s not that Kap is superior to Flacco, although he may be, it’s that he has to be accounted for on every play as a possible RB which in theory leaves something else more easily available. What makes it extra hard to defend is Gore, especially from the pistol or andy wide formations because the Ravens are comparatively slow at the first and second level. They rely on experience beating speed but with Kap that won’t work every time and when it doesn’t the kid can gash them for big gains with his arm or legs.”

      “While I do expect a physical, tough game, I really don’t think the Ravens are built for a guy like Kap on defense, they are a tad slow and that’s all the difference he needs.”

      “Ravens forte is getting after the QB, hence Brady and Manning having a tough day, but Kap is athletic, a good decision maker and he has probably the best run game the Ravens have faced this year.”

      NF you’ll have to discuss this with da Man to see how yer 2 viewpoints mesh- or not

  3. Spitblood says:

    Harbaugh has expedited the Kaep learning curve because Harbaugh’s a past NFL QB. Other organizations can look at guys and say, “He has all the tools you want, but can we turn him into a star?” and the answer is no. With Harbaugh, find a guy with all the tools and the answer is yes. Harbaugh’s done it with every single qb he’s worked with.

    THIS IS WHY HARBAUGH AND BAALKE SHOULD DRAFT ANOTHER QB THIS YEAR WITH THE INTENTION OF TRADING TOLZIEN FOR A SECOND ROUND PICK TO A TEAM WITH A TERRIBLE RECORD. Don’t just stop at Kaep. Develop, develop, develop. Develop as many qbs as you can and trade them for draft picks.

    I said this a long time ago – not giving Harbaugh clay to mold is a sin. That will always be the case. Kaep’s molded, onto the next project. Kaep will be the 49ers’ qb for the next ten to fifteen years. Keep developing the qbs behind Kaep and trade them for high draft choices. The more success, the more the demand. I could see the 49ers drafting another qb in the second or third round after we win the Super Bowl….. and we’re gonna win.

    • TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

      Spitblood

      Tolzein is going to fetch a second round pick.
      Don’t forget the 3 first round picks we’re going to get for AJ Jenkins.

  4. philippinefan says:

    BTW the stabbing outside the Georgia Dome had nothing to do with a 49er fan. Coupla rednecks (?) or some kind of morons fighting at a tailgate party

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/23/police-make-arrest-in-stabbing-outside-georgia-dome/

  5. Irish Kevin says:

    Well, it would have been interesting to have seen a health Ponder against GB, and it would have been extremely entertainng to see a health Griffin against Seattle. And that is just the thing, Kapp seems to have great instincts on when to run and for how long and not get creamed by a DB or a LB. I am sure that is going to get drilled into Griffins head next year. So with that said it should be a sweet 6.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Exactly. I onl;y saw Kappy take a couple jarring hits this year. Plus, he’s a LOT bigger than Griffin or Wilson. He has stork legs, so he needs to keep them out of harm’s way.

  6. Chico says:

    Gore fined 10k for low socks.. What a fucking joke.

  7. Flavor says:

    Tolzien is gonna fetch us what? a Second rounder? Yeah, that’s not happening. An undrafted player who was cut by the Chargers isn’t someone other teams usually end up trading for. I’m down with your *develop* thing Spit but why not, you know, just develop Tolzien? He’s got nothing else to do and his value is close to zero on the trade market…….

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      Tolzien would only acquire high value if he had to come in for an injured Kaep next year, probably for at least a month, and lit it up. The Flynn Principle. Otherwise, you might eventually get a lower pick just because Harbaugh coached him, but not a second. 5th or 6th more likely.

  8. Winder says:

    Gotta keep a good QB for backup whoever it is. The chance of injury for a starting QB is very big and add to that one that runs more than most …odds are odds. I don’t think we run away with this game at all. Balt. will tax us with everything they got and that means a true dogfight.

  9. Flavor says:

    I’m still trying to figure this game out. I’m leaning towards a big Niner victory. Baltimore’s D is decent but they’re old and I’m seeing our running game punish them into fatigue by some point in the second half. And while Flacco has had some good games and seems to have come into his own this playoffs, he’s still nothing more than a QB who sits in the pocket. If we don’t have to worry about him running I’m guessing Fangio will design a scheme that will contain him. And Ray Rice will get shut down as almost every running back does when facing our D.
    We’ve got 2 weeks to prepare for this game. I have 100% total confidence that in 2 weeks Fangio and Roman will come up with a brilliant game plan.

  10. unca_chuck says:

    If Tolzein’s worth a 2, then Alex Smith is worth 2 firsts and a 2nd.

    More glue for skippy.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah,. Flav. I’m not too too worried about our offense. What I really liked about the Atl game is we showed everyone that strictly going to Gore/LMJ in the read option CAN work. And it did in spades in the red zone. I don’t see Balt being anything more than physical defensively. Granted, that’s gotten them here, but a fast team like us should be able to wear them down pretty quickly. Side to side shit, pitches, and sweeps could be the order of the day.

    I think our defense can shut them down if Goldson stays at home and Rogers has a good game. Frankly we should start in the nickel and blitz. At least show something different than we did to start the Atl game. Maybe we were just flat and it took a bit to get going, but the pressure got much better later toward the end of the 1st half and through the rest of the game. Problem was, Ryan kept hitting his marks. Til very late. Early on I noticed Soap was in very little as we had an extra DB in most times. Soap rotated in later, but I’m not sure if it was for McDonald, or if they were both in.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Llke I said earlier, Miller had about 4 killer blocks that sprang a bunch of big plays. He’s the unheralded player of the playoffs. And I tell ya it was nice to see Dixon GET the 1st down on 3rd and short late in the game.

    • 12th man says:

      I think our RB’s will find a bit more running foom between the tackles to, I expect Baltimore to set their DE/OLB just a bit wider and to have them hold the edge just a bit longer to account for Kap.

  12. barleyfreak says:

    After a third viewing, here’s a random play I have not seen mentioned: Roger’s third down tackle of Gonzales just short of the first down at the eleven yard line after Crabs fumble at the one. 3 and out was HUGE there, and that was not a gimme of a tackle by any stretch. We scored the go ahead on the next drive.

    • NoFear49er says:

      You’re right that was heads up man coverage and Rogers made a great play to keep one of the best at picking up a few extra yards in check, but I also give credit to Aldon who did a good job checking Gonzalez at the LOS whenever he lined up on his side. Without that jam Gonzalez probably drives past the first down marker.

  13. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, that stood out. Rogers got there JUST as the ball did, so Gonzalez couldn’t get any momentum going toward the 1st down marker.

  14. 12th man says:

    Kap set the record for largest ever comeback win in an NFCCG, the SB won’t be too big for him I don’t think.

    • Flavor says:

      Agreed. Some have tripped on this possible pitfall but if you watch him play his reaction to negative plays tells you the moment isn’t going to be too big for him. After the NE game (I think it was that game) he was asked about his nerves or being a rookie or something and he was like, “I’ve been playing football for 17 years, this is nothing new to me.”
      That quote is just from memory but the flavor of it stuck with me. This guy is unflappable. What he’s doing, basically as a rookie QB, is unprecedented. Think about it: Winning his first start on Monday Night Football. Beating New Orleans in their dome. Beating NE in NE. Handing Aaron Rodgers his ass in his first playoff game. Engineering a 17 point comeback on the road in a dome in the NFC Championship Game…….
      Trip on that and keep reminding yourself that the Super Bowl will be the 10th start of his career.
      It’s unfuckingreal is what it is…….

      • Grumpy Guy says:

        He has followed every INT this season, including the playoffs – 4 in all IIRC – by leading the team the length of the field to a TD. He is not scared, he doesn’t back down, he doesn’t dwell on his mistakes.

        Yeah, I’d say the game is not too big for him.

        If our offensive and defensive lines win their battles, Kappy won’t hold us back, and we will beat the Ravens. But it WILL be a physical game.

      • Nipper says:

        Flavor invents a new word…..”unfuckingreal.”

  15. unca_chuck says:

    This is the 2nd Dub game I’ve seen and they look pretty good. Little inside game, but when they get hot outside they go. OKC is a better team, but the Dubs are hanging in there.

  16. unca_chuck says:

    Curry is money tonight.

  17. unca_chuck says:

    OKC’s tryngto keep the dubs in this. The Warriors can’t get a shot down for their lives.

  18. Spitblood says:

    Looking ahead to the Super Bowl, if I’m the Ravens I want Kaep running the ball on the read option. In the last two games the 49ers have showed they can beat you both ways – handing the ball off to Gore and James (Atlanta), or Kaep keeping the football (Green Bay). If you have to pick your poison, I’m having the DE key on the running back and I’m telling my safeties to hit Kaep with everything they’ve got. Think Pollard cares if he knocks Kaep out of the game with a head injury and gets fined or penalized? Please. He doesn’t care. And Kaep might not see someone as he runs in traffic. Vision is not guaranteed. Putting a big lick on Kaep that knocks him out of the game almost guarantees a Super Bowl win. If I’m the Ravens, I’m begging Kaep to run the read option.

    If I’m Jim Harbaugh, I’m real nervous about Kaep’s skinny legs running against the Ravens: Especially at the goal line. Mike Nolan was foolish keying Kaep with the DE around the goal line. Those are hard yards in the red zone. I’d force Kaep to run it in the red zone. If Roman and Harbaugh anticipate this, I’d have Kaep run the read option then drop back to pass and look for a receiver. By logic alone, Kaep running the ball in the red zone is taken out of the read option equation. And yes, Kaep did run for touchdowns against Green Bay. But now there’s more tape on Kaep and the read option, and now Kaep has a target on his chest.

    • Nipper says:

      Spit don’t be nervous guy. Niners will take this thing.

    • 12th man says:

      Spit it’s the SB. You don’t play scared and you don’t hold back. If the option play is better for Kap he goes, ant concerns about getting hurt are for the off season. No guts, no glory and like Nipper said, Niners got this.

  19. 12th man says:

    Any. Mobile blogging ain’t easy.

  20. unca_chuck says:

    The point being, Spitty, as I said yesterday, it’s a GOOD thing that the Niners showed they can run the read-option stricly by running Gore. I also said Nolan would overcommit to the Kappy option. Nolan stressed making sure the DE stayed wide to stop the outside option with Kappy. This opened up a lot of off-tackle runs as Miller sealed off the ILB, and Davis let the DE hold the point. Gore and LMJ scored 3x on this very play. This opened up the middle for VD as well, as 2 guys (the DE and LB) were basically taken out of many plays.

    The GB game was a study in opposites. GB is man coverage and the outside lanes opened up like the Red Sea for Kappy. The consistent part was Kappy’s passing.

    I think we’ll see a lot of pistol, and Kappy under center.

  21. Spitblood says:

    I’m not saying play scared. I’m saying anticipate what John will do.

  22. Spitblood says:

    Joe Flacco is getting a lot of praise in the media right now for his improved play, and I’m sure a lot of that new found confidence is because John fired Cam, but I’m certain Joe Flacco hasn’t forgotten his years of bad play. It was just yesterday that Flacco threw the pick 6 at the opponent’s goal line and tried to race down and tackle the DB, laying dejectedly on the field wondering “What I have I just done?” while the DB celebrated 100 yards away. That stuff doesn’t go away. That’s doubt. Flacco can deny the past, but in big situations that’ll really weigh on Flacco.

    In comparison,what does Kaep have? Nothing but confidence. No baggage. And the 49ers’ defense and secondary isn’t as weak as the Patriots. I think Flacco caves on the big stage.

  23. Alleykat says:

    Hey Chuck, We all know Nobody’s better then Joe Montana,but is their away you can our 5 th SB Lombardi trophy at the top of your page.Steve Young is feeling leftout.Sincerely,Steve Young.

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