San Francisco 49ers: 4 Reasons Colin Kaepernick Shouldn't Start in 2011

Gordon BlockContributor IIIJuly 21, 2011

San Francisco 49ers: 4 Reasons Colin Kaepernick Shouldn't Start in 2011

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    Many 49ers fans were excited when quarterback Colin Kaepernick was picked in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

    The two-time WAC pPayer of the Year from the University of Nevada, known for his size and passing accuracy, has been pegged by some to take the reins of the team’s quarterback spot for the upcoming season.

    However, there is some reason for concern with starting the incoming rookie. Here are four reasons why Colin Kaepernick shouldn’t take over at the starter position in the 2011 season.

It’s Alex Smith’s Spot to Lose

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    Kaepernick won’t be starting if Alex Smith, the first overall pick of the 2005 draft, has his say. Despite not being officially signed to the team’s roster, Smith demonstrated his loyalty to the team and leadership in organizing several player camps.

    While Smith has shown his struggles in his time with the team, incoming coach Jim Harbaugh has repeatedly endorsed Smith as his quarterback for the upcoming season.

    It seems that Smith has, at the very least, one final shot with the team.

Is Kaepernick Ready to Step In?

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    While Kaepernick has received praise for his versatility, some portions of his game suggest he could use some development.

    Kaepernick wasn’t in a pro-style offense in college (he ran a modified pistol offense at Nevada). His ability to run that served him well could also make him an injury liability against the bigger players of the NFL (Kaepernick weighs in at a less-than-imposing 233 pounds).

    His long, winding throwing motion has also been questioned. While Harbaugh is known for developing young QBs, the long lockout period has taken away a lot of time to work through some of the kinks.

Mixed Success for Rookie Quarterbacks

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    Don’t let the recent success of rookies Sam Bradford, Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez fool you: Starting rookies quarterbacks have a mixed track record.

    For quarterbacks like those, you also have just as good an opportunity of seeing a quarterback situation like ones seen with Joey Harrington, Matt Leinart or David Carr.

    Starting Kaepernick would also go against most 49ers history. The best quarterbacks in 49ers team history have spent some time riding the pine.

    Steve Young was a back up for several years behind Joe Montana, who himself didn’t fully take the starter role until his second year in the league.

    The last rookie quarterback to have substantial success with the 49ers was Jeff Garcia, who at 29 years old (with plenty of CFL seasoning) was far from a typical rookie.

    If sitting on the bench can work for those two, it can work for Kaepernick.

What’s the Hurry?

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    While the 49ers are still looking for their first playoff appearance since the 2002 season, there’s no indication that the quarterback change alone would be a difference that would push the team over the top.

    So the question is, “What’s the hurry?”

    The 49ers have plenty of other holes that need to be filled.

    Kaepernick’s presence won’t change much of those. He’d still throw to the same wide receivers that underperformed dramatically. He’d still stand behind a line that gave up a whopping 44 sacks. He’d still watch as the defensive secondary gets burned on several big plays a game.

    Placing in the untested rookie wouldn’t change most of these realities.

    Kaepernick can wait. He can improve his game, and when the time comes for him to enter play, he’ll be ready to go.