Friend of the blog and one of the only San Francisco 49er fans I know, B-Bo gives his take on the quarterback the 49ers drafted, Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick:
However, it remains to be seen whether Kaepernick will fall prey to the system QB problem that Smith had. Lining up under center is a lot different than in an option-based shotgun formation, which could never work in the NFL due to the speed of the game. I do think that both quarterbacks will benefit from having a former QB coaching them.
I have never really agreed with the concept of “system QBs” in it’s most commonly used form. I don’t believe that you can just plug an average QB in a particular offense and he will become John Elway. I would agree that circumstances play a major role, but offensive style is just one of those. The players around you, linemen, backs, receivers, coaches, opponents, weather.
Nevada and Utah1 both played in the WAC where the gap between best players and worst players is much greater than in say, the Big Ten. There are plenty of QBs who played in a “pro” style system in college and were very successful and weren’t in the NFL. Two recent USC Trojans, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart come to mind. Meanwhile you have guys like Kevin Kolb2, Josh Freeman, Vince Young and Kyle Orton who have had success coming from “systems.”
I have heard a lot of reasons Kaepernick won’t succeed. Most notably, Mike Mayock has pointed out that he just isn’t that great of a passer. The bottom line is that no matter what “system” you play in college, you could succeed or fail in the NFL. You are either a good QB or you aren’t, and that can be masked by many things, not just offensive style.