Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
If at all possible, Kaepernick is impressing even more now than late last season.
After taking over for Alex Smith in the second half of the 2012 regular season, Colin Kaepernick never looked back. He led the San Francisco 49ers to a division crown before two outstanding postseason performances in route to a Super Bowl berth.
What Kaepernick did on the field was awe-inspiring.
Despite this, there has been some concern over his ability to take the next step, especially after defenses find a way to guard against the read-option.
If the offseason and early parts of training camp are any indication, Kaepernick is fully prepared to take his game to an elite level.
One of the areas that Kaepernick struggled with as a sophomore last season was touch. He didn't seem to understand when to take something off the ball on intermediate routes. That caused an increase in drops from pass-catchers in San Francisco.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, Kaepernick has improved a great deal in this aspect of his game.
Kaepernick has vastly improved the touch on his passes -- even since the end of last season...Kaepernick lofted a beautiful screen pass over outside linebacker Cam Johnson that dropped into LaMichael James' hands just a couple yards away along the right side. On the next play, he demonstrated a feathery touch on a pass to Frank Gore on the left side.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King, who visited 49ers camp in Santa Clara in late July, filed the following report about how Kaepernick might have even improved his on-field speed, which is a scary thought for defenses around the NFL this season.
I think it’s foreign to most of us that a player can significantly improve his speed, but Colin Kaepernick thinks he’s done just that this offseason. He trained in Atlanta with some speed technicians, including long-jumper Dwight Phillips.
Considering that Kaepernick already possesses the single-game NFL rushing record for a quarterback, any additional speed to burst through the line could make him an unstoppable commodity in the ground game.
As was evidenced by Kaepernick's performance against the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs, he can stay in the pocket and beat teams with that rocket arm. Adding yet another dimension in terms of touch on the pass, as well as more speed on the ground, would quickly put him into the elite quarterback category.
As it is, Kaepernick still has only 10 NFL starts under his belt. We need to see a larger sample size during the regular season before anointing him the next great quarterback.