2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will Buffalo Bills Trade Up for Colin Kaepernick?

Robert Quinn@@RQuinn619Correspondent IApril 25, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 09:  Colin Kaepernick #10 of the Nevada Wolf Pack looks to pass the ball against Boston College during the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park on January 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick, quarterback of Nevada, has seen his draft stock rise from being projected as a mid round draft pick in the third or fourth round range to as high as a low first rounder ever since the NFL combine.

Last season, the 4-12 Bills ranked 24th in the league in passing, averaging 197 yards per game through the air with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns to just 15 interceptions.

Clearly Fitzpatrick isn't the long-term answer at quarterback, as the Harvard graduate has been a journeyman throughout his career, but he definitely has the ability to be a stop-gap at the position for a season or two.

It is a general consensus around the league that the Bills will be drafting the best defensive player available with their No. 3 overall pick, and in my last mock draft, I had the Bills taking Kaepernick with their No. 34 overall pick in the second round.

However, now it doesn't seem like he will be there for the taking.

Kaepernick isn't a Day 1 starter, but history has shown that he fits the mold of quarterbacks that coach Chan Gailey likes, including Kordell Stewart and Tyler Thigpen.

Like all of the Bills' draft picks in 2010, Kaepernick started four seasons at Nevada, and is the only player in the history of the NCAA to pass for over 10,000 yards and rush for over 4,000. Additionally, he is the only player in history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in three consecutive years.

The one significant knock on Kaepernick is that he ran the "pistol" offense at Nevada, in which the quarterback isn't under center, but isn't as far back as a shotgun set.

At 6'4", 225 pounds, Kaepernick has the prototypical size for a quarterback, and is comparable to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton in his athleticism.

His arm is strong enough to make difficult throws on the run, which could be a positive playing in the harsh conditions of Buffalo. His leadership is unquestioned, and he isn't afraid to take charge of the game, as displayed by the victory over Boise State last season.

His combination of arm strength and speed forces defenses to stay honest, as he is a threat to create plays at any moment. On ESPN's Sport Science feature, they showed how accurate his arm was, and how quickly he could read targets. 

His only deficiency scouts see is his release, but that didn't stop former Florida Gator Tim Tebow from being selected in the first round. Kaepernick went to several quarterback camps, and is currently working on shortening his release, while keeping his velocity.

Personally, I believe that the Buffalo Bills would be a great fit for Colin Kaepernick, as he wouldn't be expected to start from Day 1, and he could learn under the incumbent, Ryan Fitzpatrick for a year or two, while learning the intricacies of an NFL offense, and develop a rapport with the wide receivers.

To obtain Kaepernick, the Bills would most likely have to trade their second round pick (No. 34 overall), to a team like Tampa Bay, who holds the 20th pick, or Philadelphia, who holds the 23rd.

This year, as many as six quarterbacks are expected to be taken in the first round, so if the Bills want their man, Buddy Nix, needs to pick up the phone and make some deals.