By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 at 2:45 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Raiders new coach Hue Jackson has made it clear that he and “coach” Al Davis are behind Jason Campbell as the unquestioned starter at quarterback next season. However, it’s always wise to plan for the future, especially at the most important position.
Hence, the Raiders have scheduled a visit with Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, according to the National Football Post. Here’s the link: http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Colin-Kaepernick-up-to-10-workouts-to-visit-Raiders.html
Kaepernick is a tall quarterback, who scored a 37 on the Wonderlic and possesses a very strong arm. All three are intangibles that managing general partner Davis covets.
Even better, there’s a decent shot that Kaepernick will be available in the second round of this year’s NFL draft, when the Raiders are scheduled to make their first selection – they traded away their first-rounder to the New England Patriots for defensive tackle Richard Seymour just before the 2009 season.
Jackson and Davis might be sold on Campbell for now. However, it’s worth noting that Jackson admitted that he was part of the decision, along with then-coach Tom Cable, to bench Campbell at halftime of the Raiders second regular-season game last year. Campbell also was removed from a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers late in the season and replaced by Bruce Gradkowski the following game.
Also, Campbell, Kyle Boller and Charlie Frye – assuming he is re-signed – are the only quarterbacks on the Raiders roster, and they all turn 30 at some point this season. Earlier this offseason, Jackson said quarterback is the one position that he doesn’t feel the need to get an immediate return from this season.
Kaepernick would have the benefit of learning from three veteran quarterbacks for at least one season, without the pressure of being thrown into the mix right away.
It has been a long, long time since the Raiders discovered a legitimate starting quarterback in the draft. The past three, JaMarcus Russell (first round, No. 1 overall), Andrew Walter (3rd round) and Marques Tuiasosopo (2nd round) flamed out without making an impression as a starter.
Kaepernick’s stock has been rising on the strength of a solid showing at the NFL Scouting Combine and numerous private workouts. He now is projected to go anywhere from late in the first round to the third round.
“I had a chance to see him last summer at Peyton Manning’s Passing Academy,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said in a national conference call. “I spent three days watching the kid throw the ball with Peyton and Eli (Manning). He’s got a huge arm. He’s a great athlete, and he’s got a big frame. The kind of guy you want to buy into. He’s the kind of guy that’s going to rise a little bit.”
The Raiders have enough talented players on their roster, as well as draft picks, to trade up into the first round if they fear Kaepernick is at risk of going before the Raiders pick at No. 48.
Last season, Kaepernick passed for 3,022 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for 1,206 yards and 20 touchdowns. He is the only player in Division I history to pass for more than 10,000 yards and rush for more than 4,000 yards.