49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 18, 2011
Kolb, Kaepernick and a lousy Wonderlic for a potential Niner

Some 49ers-related tidbits as you arrive at work (probably with a St. Patty hangover)...

First, it seems more likely than ever that the Eagles will trade quarterback Kevin Kolb - or at least listen hard to offers - if there is some sort of break in the labor impasse before the draft.

"People have shown a little interest [in Kolb], and as this thing picks up, I'm sure it will continue," Eagles coach Andy Reid said in an in-house interview that was dissected by The Daily News. "Listen, we'll sit back and we'll evaluate."

The 49ers are likely one of the teams that will be interested in Kolb and, in all probability, have already inquired about the Eagles' asking price. So, when could trade talks resume? An April 6 hearing has been set for an injunction, requested by the players, to block the lockout. If successful, it could force the league to be open for business again, which would allow trades.

However, winning the injunction is far from a given. The most realistic scenario for pre-draft trades and free agency is if the two sides sit down and work out a deal.

Today is the day that the 49ers will put Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick through a private workout. I'm hearing that offensive coordinator Greg Roman will join coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke for the session. Harbaugh and Baalke were already slated to be in the Tahoe area this weekend as part of the team's annual Winter Fest, which benefits the 49ers Foundation.

The 49ers already have taken a good look at Kaepernick. He was one of six quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl in January, and he had an interview with the 49ers at last month's scouting combine. One of Kaepernick's receivers today will be Nevada tight end Virgil Green, who has drawn comparisons to Vernon Davis and who is expected to be selected in the middle of the draft.

Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly reports that two cornerbacks who have been linked to the 49ers' first-round pick had very disparate Wonderlic scores. (The Wonderlic is the intelligence test given to players at the combine.)

Nebraska's Prince Amukamara answered 35 of the 50 questions correctly, according to Nawrocki, which is an outstanding mark. LSU's Patrick Peterson, meanwhile, scored a 9, and was one of four players to score in single digits.

I wrote a story about the Wonderlic test in 2005 in which I interviewed company president Charlie Wonderlic. He said a score of 10 or below is an indication of literacy problems.

"You can still be a great football player, but it means you can't be trained through reading," Wonderlic said. "What that's really telling you is just how much of a challenge it's going to be to teach this person."

The 49ers have had several players in recent seasons who have scored below 10, including running back Frank Gore, who reportedly scored a 6 in 2005. Gore has a well-documented learning disability, but he has proven to be one of the most savvy players on the team when it comes to learning and executing the playbook. That is, Gore's learning issue never has been a problem for the 49ers.

As Scot McCloughan, then the team's vice president of player personnel, noted in 2005, teams don't want players to be too smart either, especially at certain positions. "Some positions, like cornerback, you don't want a really intelligent guy because if he does get beat, you don't want him overanalyzing it," McCloughan said.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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