Kap hasn't forgotten fact five QBs selected before him in 2011 draft
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Colin Kaepernick anxiously waited through one full day of the 2011 NFL draft and watched as four quarterback-needy teams hand-picked players to lead their teams.
No. 1, Cam Newton, Carolina
No. 8, Jake Locker, Tennessee
No. 10, Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville
No. 12, Christian Ponder, Minnesota
Then, the Cincinnati Bengals selected quarterback Andy Dalton with the third pick of the second round before the 49ers traded up to grab Kaepernick with the 36th overall choice.
“It’s something I definitely haven’t forgot,” Kaepernick said.
Kaepernick draws inspiration from critical tweets from complete strangers – many of whom are probably just trying to get a reaction. So, of course, he would find additional motivation from something real.
On Sunday, the Titans will have the quarterback they wanted. Locker returns to action against the 49ers after missing two games with hip and knee injuries.
Meanwhile, the guy they did not want with the No. 8 overall pick will be leading the 49ers. Titans third-year coach Mike Munchak, on a conference call with Bay Area reporters, made Kaepernick sound worthy of a top-10 pick.
"I thought he really had a great feel," Munchak said. "I know everyone was concerned because they had the spread offense and weren't conventional under center (at Nevada) like he's doing now, and everyone's projecting how he will do. Obviously he's done very well."
Munchak described Kaepernick as "a good-looking kid who was smart and had a passion for the game.”
“I wasn't surprised all of a sudden he was starting last year and making plays, because of how competitive he was,” Munchak said. “It was just hard to project when that would happen."
Kaepernick took over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback at midseason last year when Alex Smith was sidelined with a concussion. Kaepernick played very well in 10 starts, including the postseason, and came up 5 yards short of a win over the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.
Kaepernick’s stats have dropped off through six games in his first full season as the starter. He ranks in the middle of the pack of the league with an 83.9 passer rating with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. And he’s No. 5 among quarterbacks in rushing with 172 yards and no touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Locker was off to a strong start prior to his injury. He completed 62.2 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and no interceptions for a 99.0 passer rating in the first four games.
Locker was a bit of a surprising pick for the Titans. After spending time with the Titans before the draft, Kaepernick thought there was a chance he could end up in Tennessee.
“I thought I was someone they were interested in,” Kaepernick said. “Whether it was then or later, I didn’t know, but it’s in the past now.”
Coincidentally, Kaepernick is scheduled to face three teams in a row that selected other quarterbacks ahead of him in the 2011 draft.
After the Titans, the 49ers travel to London, where they will face the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have gotten consistently substandard play from Gabbert. After the bye, the Carolina Panthers and No. 1 overall pick Newton visit Candlestick Park.