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Answering All Questions

Posted Mar 4, 2011

Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick hopes to silence any doubts about his ability to succeed at the next level.


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In 2010, Tim Tebow stepped to the podium at the NFL Scouting Combine and took question after question about his throwing motion, tendency to run and lack of snaps from under center.

For Colin Kaepernick, it's an all-too-familiar situation.

Like Tebow, plenty of his production in college came from using his feet along with his arm. And he hopes to follow in the first-round pick's footsteps to the NFL.

Kaepernick ran for 4,112 yards and 59 touchdowns at the University of Nevada, in addition to his 10,098 yards and 82 touchdowns through the air. He joined Missouri's Brad Smith as the only players in NCAA history to top 8,000 yards passing and 4,000 yards rushing.

"I don’t think I will run as much in the NFL as I did in college," Kaepernick said. "Obviously there are great athletes in the NFL that all run 4.4 and 4.5 (40-yard dashes), so you aren’t going to have the freedom to run. But at the same time, my mobility will have the ability to extend plays, convert third downs and make plays for a team.”

At the combine, Kaepernick ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds, second to only Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor among quarterbacks. That time placed Kaepernick fifth among all quarterbacks to run at the combine since 2006.

He hopes that speed will translate to playmaking at the next level.

“I think because I have that ability I feel comfortable (running) sometimes," he said. "If I get through one, two, three in my progression, a lot of quarterbacks will throw the ball away or check it down to something that might not be as good. For me, because I have that mobility, I will try and make something bigger happen than throw the ball away."

Kaepernick has the size -- 6-foot-6, 225 pounds -- that many NFL teams look for at quarterback, but it was his Senior Bowl performance that really put him on scouts' radars.

"I think the Senior Bowl week I showed how quickly I can pick up on an NFL offense, drop-back and read coverage," he said.

At Nevada, the quarterback functioned often times out of the pistol formation -- a shortened shotgun with a running back behind the quarterback as opposed to beside him.

While he said he doesn't anticipate that Nevada's scheme will transfer directly to his new NFL offense, he believes his ability to pick up a playbook quickly will help the transition.

As for his throwing motion, he said he'll do what he can -- but with a 79-and-a-half-foot wingspan, he doesn't believe there's too much that can be done to shorten his windup.

“I am trying to quicken it up a little bit," he said. "I have very long arms and there is only a certain extent that you can compact that.”

Despite some of the questions, Kaepernick hopes his skill set and the stats he put up in college will help him climb as high as possible in the draft.

"I bring leadership, confidence, intelligence as well as my physical abilities as my arm strength and mobility," he said. "I think there are a lot of things that I can do to help an NFL team out."