Bengals QB Dalton could have been a 49er

September 22, 2011, 7:50 pm
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In trying to gauge Jim Harbaugh's interest level in quarterbacks before the draft, it seemed reasonable he would like TCU's Andy Dalton.Dalton seemed to have the attributes -- quick release, accurate in the short-passing game -- that fit the prototypical quarterback for a West Coast system. Plus, he was a four-year starter and a winner.
There were plenty of reasons to like Colin Kaepernick, too. He has a strong arm and possesses great athleticism, smarts and character. In the lead-up to the draft, my question was whether Harbaugh would think Kaepernick was a good fit for his system after he played in Nevadas famed Pistol offense.The answer was, clearly, yes.The 49ers traded up to No. 36 to select Kaepernick after the Cincinnati Bengals chose Dalton at No. 35. Whats also clear is that Harbaugh wouldve been happy with either quarterback."Yeah, we had a high evaluation of him," Harbaugh said of Dalton on Wednesday.Dalton has gotten off to a strong start for the Bengals as their starter. He completed 66.1 percent of his passes in two games with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating is a strong 105.7. Dalton will start against the 49ers on Sunday.Meanwhile, Kaepernick is one snap away from seeing the field with the 49ers. He is Alex Smiths backup. After the fact, we found out how close Kaepernick was to playing on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Smith sustained a concussion that was not diagnosed until after the game.Kaepernick remains on call for the time when his number is called.