Why San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick Is the Best in the NFL

Michael PatmasCorrespondent IIIFebruary 20, 2013

Colin Kaepernick: The "best of the bunch" again?
Colin Kaepernick: The "best of the bunch" again?Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In March 2011, one month before the NFL draft, I wrote that Nevada's Colin Kaepernick was the best QB in the draft. I predicted he would be taken early, perhaps even in the first round by San Francisco and would emerge as the "best of the bunch."

Two years later, it's safe to say that Kaepernick has certainly made a name for himself. His meteoric rise to the starting role in San Francisco while leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl was truly remarkable.

Although most football fans will now acknowledge that Kaepernick is an astonishing talent, some are still not quite willing to place him among the NFL's elite QB's just yet. But, I will. 

In fact, I will make essentially the same prediction I made two years ago with a slight twist. This time, among NFL QBs, I say Kaepenick is "the best of the bunch."

Consider that until he took over for Alex Smith in the second week of November, Kaepernick had only taken a handful of snaps. His season, including the playoffs and the Super Bowl, consisted of a total of 10 games.

What exactly did he accomplish in his first 10 NFL starts? Well, he set two NFL records—rushing for 181 yards against the Green Bay Packers and leading the 49ers in a conference championship record-breaking 17 point comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons.

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Kaepernick almost pulled off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl History by nearly erasing a 22-point deficit. Had San Francisco managed just a little bit better defense, Kaepernick would have won the Super Bowl in only his 10th start.

With his limited play, Kaepernick has completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 1,849 yards and 10 TDs. But he has also rushed for 413 yards and five TDs. 2,262 all-purpose yards and 15 TDs and he has only started 10 games! 

I know there are a lot of "ifs" here. If he stays healthy, and if he continues to produce at this rate, and if he continues to be a starter, Kaepernick could shatter more records in the NFL than he did in college, and he broke a lot of them. He literally re-wrote the NCAA record books with his astonishing 10,000 yards passing and 4,000 yards rushing.

He has already beaten Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Who would have predicted that? His Total QB Rating, an arguably controversial metric, is 76.8, placing him 3rd in the NFL just behind Tom Brady at 77.1 and Peyton Manning at 84.1.

But here's what has really caught my attention. Since the Super Bowl, where has  Kaepernick been? Well he's not doing fast food commercials or getting in trouble in questionable establishments. No, after a few days off, he's back in the gym and on the practice field throwing passes.

That's why I think he will soon emerge as the best QB in the NFL. He has more than his fair share of talent. He is also very competitive and extremely disciplined. Call me crazy. Some did in March 2011 when I said he was the best QB in the draft. But I'm telling you now, he's the best QB in the NFL. You can take that to the bank. Well, actually he can.


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