49ers Blog and Q&A

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

October 16, 2013
Five guys: Teams that passed in draft motivate Kaepernick


It takes Frank Gore 10 seconds to tick off the names of the five running backs taken ahead of him in the 2005 draft. No one's timed Colin Kaepernick when it comes to the five quarterbacks already selected when the 49ers drafted him in the second round (36th overall) in 2011, but he acknowledged it's a motivating force.

"It's something I definitely haven't forgotten," Kaepernick said Wednesday.

One of the five passers, Jake Locker, was taken 8th overall by the Titans. Kaepernick said he remembers having a productive, pre-draft visit in Tennessee and feeling he could wind up with the Titans. "I thought I was someone they were interested in," he said. "Whether it was then (at pick No. 8) or later, I didn't know. But it's in the past now."

Titans coach Mike Munchak confirmed that Kaepernick was someone they had circled that spring. What did he think of Kaepernick during his visit?

"'My gosh, this guy's a man,'" Munchak said on a conference call. "Just a good-looking kid that was smart. And like I said, he had a passion for the game. That kind of always strikes me with players, the guys that really love what they do. He was one of those guys. That's why I wasn't surprised when I saw him, all of a sudden, he was starting last year and he was making plays."

Locker hasn't played since Week 4 when he suffered a right hip injury against the Jets. Munchak said the quarterback has been cleared medically but will be eased back into the position. Ryan Fitzpatrick started the last two games for Tennessee, both of them losses. Fitzpatrick has a 61.2 passer rating on the season.

Munchak sounded skeptical that Locker could play Sunday. Jim Harbaugh, however, said he wouldn't be surprised to see Locker, whom he faced four times when Locker was at Washington and Harbaugh at Stanford. The Cardinal was 3-1 in those games with Locker's only victory coming in 2007.

"He's always been an extremely tough competitor," Harbaugh said. "That's why you, knowing the competitor he is, if there's any possible way that he would play he'll be out there."

Five guys
1st overall: Cam Newton, Carolina
8th overall: Jake Locker, Tennessee
10th overall: Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville
12th overall: Christian Ponder, Minnesota
35th overall: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati

-- 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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