Tag:Colin Kaepernick
Posted on: June 15, 2011 9:52 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 2:48 pm

Mayock on Pryor: He's a 4th-round pick

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Another day, another expert weighs in on Terrelle Pryor's NFL prospects. Appearing on NFL Network's Wednesday edition of Total Access, respected draft analysts Mike Mayock spoke about Pryor.

But before we get to Mayock's levelheaded and well-reasoned evaluation, a quick trip in the time machine. Tuesday, Pryor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, convened a press conference to offer up his own scouting report on his client. Enjoy.
For anybody who questions where he's going to be drafted, I expect him to be a first-round pick in the supplemental draft. This league needs quarterbacks. Are you kidding me? Middle round for this guy?

You talk about Cam Newton being the first pick of the draft and he deserves it? Let me tell you what, I'll make all the comparisons all day long: [Pryor] is 31-4 at Ohio State. He has 8,000 total yards in three years. He holds 59 touchdowns -- a record at Ohio State. This is Big 10 football that he has dominated.

He is going to be a great NFL quarterback.
Back on earth, Mayock shared his thoughts on Pryor.
Nobody is better than Drew Rosenhaus in driving perceived value. Now, that's his job and I have no problem with that. Sometimes perceived value is almost as good as real value if he can get enough people talking about [Pryor] as a first-round pick.
Terrelle Pryor's NFL future

I watched four hours of tape yesterday, and I only did three games. Off my tape evaluation, if I'm Vegas Vic, I set the over-under line at the fourth round. Can somebody take him in the third round? Absolutely.

The value for [Pryor] as a rookie is in packages. In other words, I think the New York Jets are the best wildcat team in the NFL. Why? Because Brad Smith can throw the football just well enough to keep you honest.

And I think that's what this kid can do. He can be a package quarterback Year 1 while you develop his skill set. Is he raw? Absolutely. Does he have a lot to work on? Yes, he does. And that doesn't even get into all the intangibles off the field.
As for those off-the-field issues, Mayock thinks that the short timeframe between now and the supplemental draft will ultimately hurt Pryor in two areas.
One: off-the-field intangibles and how well are teams willing to get to know this kid. And No. 2: look at Colin Kaepernick, who's kind of a similar big kid, great athlete. He got himself up into the high second round. Now he's got a cannon for an arm, but he also had the benefit of the process, meaning he played in the Senior Bowl, he went to the combine, he went through his pro day, all the teams got to know him. The San Francisco 49ers fell in love with his upside and took him as a high second-round pick.

Terrelle Pryor does not have the advantage of the process a) to clear his name, and b) to show us that he can drive the football with accuracy.
Mayock is more bullish on Pryor than other experts but still pegs him as a fourth-rounder. This is a far cry from Rosenhaus' "first-round pick" decree Tuesday, although it reinforces Mayock's earlier point that "sometimes perceived value is almost as good as real value."

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Posted on: June 15, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 7:19 pm

So, about Alex Smith starting for the 49ers...

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Maybe 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree misunderstood the question last week when he was asked if "throwing with the quarterback was beneficial toward improving chemistry." His response -- "Who's the quarterback?" -- was the latest slight in a career full of them for former first-overall pick Alex Smith.

Smith's six years in the NFL can kindly be described as underwhelming, a mix of bad luck and bad teams (and don't forget small hands). But new coach Jim Harbaugh stated in late April, shortly after the team drafted Colin Kaepernick, that Smith (who will be a free agent once the lockout ends), pretty much has the starting job sewn up.

"Well, Alex is going to definitely have the head start," Harbaugh said at the time. "He has played in the National Football League. He's won games in the National Football League. So if I'm a betting man, I'm betting on Alex Smith."

Technically, yes, Smith has "won games in the National Football League." So have Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell, two other QBs drafted at the top of the first round who will only get into Canton by purchasing a ticket. So realistically, what can Harbaugh expect from a guy who has played in 54 games in six seasons, and completed just 57 percent of his passes?

ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando breaks out his TI-35 in search of the answer. Specifically, going back to 1970, Sando looked at seasons two through six for every quarterback who had thrown between 40 and 55 touchdown passes, had no more than 45 interceptions, and had started at least 40 games during this period. (Sando excluded rookie seasons because Smith was so dreadful his first year in the league that it threw the analysis out of whack.)

The quarterbacks most similar to Smith through six seasons, according to Sando (scroll to the bottom for the statistical comparisons): Jim McMahon, Greg Landry and -- wait for it -- Jim Harbaugh.

No wonder Harbaugh wants to give Smith the job; Jim literally seems himself in Alex. (Another contributing factor: Kaepernick hasn't taken part in one organized practice with the 49ers.) 

Actually, Harbaugh doesn't have much choice. And while fans aren't typically a forgiving bunch, particularly after watching a player make the same mistakes for the better part of six seasons, Smith still has a chance to be a decent NFL starter. We mentioned Leaf and Russell above, but that was in response to "hey, this guy's won NFL games!", not a strict comparison of skills. Smith has shown glimpses of abilities, albeit brief. Either injuries or distractions have intervened, sidetracking any progress.

Whatever, unless Smith plays like Derek Anderson did with the Browns in 2007 (it's hard to believe now, but Anderson was a Pro Bowler that year), or Tommy Maddox did with the Steelers in 2002, he's probably nothing more than a one-season bridge to Kaepernick. There are worse fates than trying to salvage an NFL career. Smith, for instance, could be caught up in the sordid world of purple drank.

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Posted on: May 21, 2011 6:46 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2011 7:02 pm

Rookies are inherently suffering irreparable harm

Posted by Will Brinson

The biggest issue facing the Court of Appeals when they make their ruling on the June 3rd hearing -- at least in my opinion -- is whether or not the 8th Circuit believes the NFLPA actually dissolved.

But there's another tremendous issue that lingers with regard to the current stay of the injunction of the lockout: which party is suffering irreparable harm?

And while reading my colleague Clark Judge's excellent piece on "first-year phenoms" surprising in 2011, something hit me: the damage being done to younger players, courtesy of the current lockout, is absolutely irreparable.

Actually, it was quote from Brian Billick -- ironically, a part-time employee of the NFL itself -- that set it off for me (emphasis mine).

"Let's say they get no OTAs," said Billick. "And let's say we get a full training camp. Then I cut the odds down by at least 50 percent in terms of a quarterback's ability to come in and be a starter. And with every week into training camp we lose I think we knock it down 25 percent."

Those are BIG numbers, people -- imagine if you were a commission-based salesman and someone took away a quarter of your territory. Or even worse, half -- how much would that impact your ability to succeed in your job for the given a year?

Doing any sort of quantitatively accurate math on exactly how much damage would be done to say, someone like Cam Newton, is pretty difficult, simply because we don't know how good he'll be in 2010 and beyond. But here's the follow-up quote from Billick that's even more telling.

"You can't be overly optimistic with what you think you can get done with rookie quarterbacks -- which means a year from now I don't know that we'll know anything more about Cam Newton than we do this year," Billick said.

Now, there's plenty of room for clarification to that quote, but to me, it seems like a player in Cam Newton's situation is having somewhere between 50 and 100 percent of his season killed off by the lockout, depending on how long it goes on.

And there's an argument out there that Newton is still going to get paid (well) and still develop as a quarterback. But here's the counterargument: when he loses somewhere between a half- and full year of development as a result of the lockout, he loses an impossible-to-calculate digit in terms of financial gain from a new contract.

He loses a year of production and/or learning in the prime of his life. He loses, even if you want to be conservative with the average number of years that a first-round quarterback plays, one-tenth of his career.

And there are -- if you want to count Christian Ponder, Jake Locker, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert -- at least six Newtons out there who are being irreparably damaged.

This holds true for unsigned free agents too. And the players haven't shied away from making that point to the courts. The problem is, the Appeals Court doesn't seem that interested in the argument that a bunch of agents and lawyers are making with respect to the livelihood of a young football player in the NFL.

What they need to be doing is checking with the people who know better than anyone how much a year of learning can damage the career of a rookie in the NFL: the defendants.

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 10:25 am

Sounds like Alex Smith will stay in San Francisco

SmithPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Though 49ers QB Alex Smith made his first meeting with the media this offseason an off-the-record session (meaning that he asked reporters, including Comcast Sports Net’s Mindi Bach not to quote him directly), he also made it pretty clear that he expects to return to San Francisco in 2011.

Though he looked pretty much good as gone at the end of last season – it was certainly a mutual feeling between him and his team – and despite the fact San Francisco proclaimed its next QB of the future by drafting Colin Kaepernick in the second round of last month’s NFL draft, Smith said he and new coach Jim Harbaugh are getting along well.

The fact Harbaugh is an offensive-minded head coach – as opposed to the 49ers last two hires, Mike Singletary and Mike Nolan – also plays well in Smith’s mind.

There are also other reasons why Smith’s mindset has changed. Smith’s wife, Elizabeth, gave birth to their first child last week, meaning he’d like to stay put for now, and with the lockout freezing free agency, he hasn’t had a chance to look elsewhere for a new organization anyway.

The 49ers also appear to want him back, which could be why Harbaugh already has presented him with the team’s 2011 playbook, featuring Harbaugh’s West Coast offense terminology.

And now considering the lockout could extend into training camp, which would profoundly effect incoming college players, it makes sense to have a more experienced QB who’s taken plenty of NFL snaps as the team’s starter, rather than a rookie who has shined the past few years in the WAC.

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Posted on: May 13, 2011 8:44 pm

Kaepernick undergoes leg surgery

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

That headline, I’m sure, is EXACTLY what 49ers fans wanted to read. But apparently, the lower leg surgery performed on QB Colin Kaepernick recently was minor and not that big a deal.

Kaepernick"It's nothing serious at all," Kaepernick told the Sacramento Bee.

Kaepernick didn’t want to talk about the specifics of the injury, but he said the leg began to bother him toward the end of his 2010 season at Nevada. And though he managed to have an impressive Senior Bowl week showing, which certainly helped his draft status, he knew he needed to solve this problem before it potentially became an even bigger problem.

The 49ers knew as well, and they’re fine with the procedure. Of course, they also couldn’t talk to Kaepernick to consult with him or his doctors in order to help guide the decision. But in the end, Kaepernick and his team felt like this was the best possible route.

"He certainly could have (waited),” his agent, Scott Smith, said. “He played four games at Nevada and barely talked about it. Because of the lockout, the timing was as good as it's going to get."

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Posted on: May 8, 2011 5:44 pm

Hot Routes 5.8.11: Tell your mom you love her

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • … And speaking of places where Kolb might play next season, the Arizona Republic discusses how the Cardinals’ patience while waiting to sign a starting quarterback might just pay off. And maybe not taking a quarterback in the NFL draft was actually the smart plan all along.
  • From the Miami Herald, here’s the latest on the Dolphins QB situation: “the chances of (Chad) Henne being the regular-season starter for Miami in 2011 are greater than the chances he is replaced.”
  • The NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora talked to some league insiders who rated the best performances of last week’s draft. The Buccaneers got high marks for Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, and the Packers got positive press for a number of picks.

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Posted on: May 6, 2011 7:25 pm

Hot Routes 5.6.11: Count Javier Arenas as lucky

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • As a devastating tornado raged around him in Tuscaloosa, Chiefs DB Javier Arenas took shelter in a bathtub. Arenas was fine, but a block away, the weather caused complete devastation. Said Arenas: “I want to thank the makers of my tub.
  • Although Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz turned down a contract extension from the club, he still says he badly wants to stay in Chicago. He’s just letting his negotiator do his thing.
  • TV broadcaster Gus Johnson isn’t necessarily gone from CBS quite yet. Here’s hoping he and CBS can come to sort of agreement on a new contract.
  • Legendary Dolphins coach Don Shula speaks to the Miami Herald about a variety of topics, including how he was disappointed when Bill Parcells abruptly bailed on the organization.
  • If the Buccaneers end up on Hard Knocks this season, Tony Dungy has some advice for the players: Don’t try to be like Sidney Poitier.

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Posted on: May 4, 2011 9:31 am

NFC West draft truths revealed

Posted by Andy Benoit

One of the best things about the draft is that from it we can find out what teams really think about their current players. Excluding examples of teams filling obvious needs, here are some of the more revealing draft picks from 2011, with a quick blurb of what the team was really saying by making this pick.

Arizona Cardinals

2nd round, Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
We’re not sure Beanie Wells can stay healthy. Or that Tim Hightower is really all that good.

San Francisco 49ers
C. Kaepernick (US Presswire)
2nd round, Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada

Remember when we said that Alex Smith is still our guy? Yeah – that was a lie.

4th round, Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
Glen Coffee screwed us last year.

Seattle Seahawks

1st round, James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
Sean Locklear is lazy and not worth signing.

St. Louis Rams

1st round, Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Do you believe James Hall is as good as his 10.5 sacks last season suggest? Neither do we. Also, let’s face it, when we say Chris Long has a great motor (which he does), we’re also saying he’s not an elite athlete.

2nd round, Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
When the offensive starters are announced over the loudspeaker during pregame, we get a little squeamish hearing the name “Billy Bajema” called. For one, the guy should never start for any team. Ever. And for two, the name Bajema just sounds, you know, sorta dirty.

3rd round, Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State
We’re worried about Danario Alexander’s knees.

Check back throughout the week for other division’s Draft Truths Revealed. To see all Draft Truths Revealed, click the “Draft Truths” tag.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com