Colin Kaepernick proved his pre-draft scouting reports correct, both during and after his NFL career concluded.
Now a civil rights activist and frequent critic of the NFL, Kaepernick was once a star college quarterback trying to enter the league. That made Kaepernick, who the San Francisco 49ers drafted in 2011, the subject of analysis leading up to that year’s draft.
Although most of the scouting reports focused on Kaepernick’s on-field play, some unknowingly predicted the impact he’d have beyond the gridiron.
Colin Kaepernick has had an incredible story
Love him or hate him; Colin Kaepernick’s story is one for the ages.
An athletic quarterback who played six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick had an impressive NFL career. Kaepernick took the starting reins midway through the 2012 season when Alex Smith suffered an injury.
From 2012-14, Kaepernick was an above-average quarterback who flourished under Jim Harbaugh. The former second-round pick went 25-14 and completed 60.1% of his passes for 8,380 yards, 50 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions.
Colin Kaepernick totaled 1,578 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 6.1 yards per carry in that span. Kaepernick also won four playoff games and scored 11 all-purpose touchdowns in six postseason outings.
Injuries limited Kaepernick’s effectiveness in 2015. Although Kaepernick threw 16 touchdowns to four interceptions in 2016, San Francisco parted ways with him after the season.
Kaepernick took the world by storm when he took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social inequality in 2016. He has since become a civil rights icon.
Kaepernick starred at Nevada before reaching the NFL
Before Colin Kaepernick became known for his touchdown runs or protests, he was a star quarterback at Nevada.
Kaepernick completed 58.2% of his passes in four years at Nevada for 10,098 yards, 82 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions. The uber-athletic quarterback also totaled 4,112 rushing yards and 59 touchdowns on 6.9 yards per carry.
Kaepernick even caught a 6-yard touchdown during his junior season in 2009.
Through Sept. 21, 2020, Kaepernick’s 59 rushing touchdowns are tied for 12th-most in FBS history. Kaepernick is tied with Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch, legendary Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett (of Pitt fame), and former Oregon State running back Ken Simonton.
Scouting reports unknowingly predicted Colin Kaepernick’s impact
Colin Kaepernick was projected as a second or third-round quarterback entering the 2011 NFL draft.
That same draft saw Cam Newton go with the top pick. Three other quarterbacks — Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, and Jake Locker — weres elected in the first round.
Kaepernick received strong reviews throughout the draft process, but one highlight stands out above the rest. Scouts and draft analysts knew Kaepernick’s strengths as a player, but they also nailed his character.
Take a scouting report where Walterfootball.com praised Kaepernick’s “leadership qualities.”
Bleacher Report’s Alex Kozora took a similar stance in an April 2011 scouting report.
“Adding to his resume, Kaepernick is a high-character person and a leader. He brought his team from a 24-7 deficit to eventually upset Bosie State in overtime. The game may be remembered for Bosie’s loss and Kyle Brotzman’s two missed kicks, but Kaepernick showed the ability to rally a team.”
Of course, those scouting reports solely predicted how effective Colin Kaepernick would be as a player given his college performance. No one foresaw the events of 2016 through now and the impact Kaepernick would have beyond football.