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Colin Kaepernick Makes Top 100 List

Posted May 3, 2013

Colin Kaepernick made the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2013 list.

He’s a dynamic ballplayer.

That’s the glowing assessment from Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who summed up the talents of Colin Kaepernick. Sherman, a 49ers rival, offered his scouting report on San Francisco’s starting quarterback when Kaepernick was named the No. 81 overall player in the league on NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2013 list.

The list which is voted on by NFL players, featured a short video highlighting the remarkable 10-start season Kaepernick enjoyed in 2012.

From a Week 10 debut appearance on “Monday Night Football” to a valiant comeback effort in Super Bowl XLVII, Kaepernick’s impressive rise to stardom was recapped by his NFL peers and teammates with the 49ers.

“The more reps he’s gotten, the better he’s gotten,” Sherman said of the 6-foot-4, 230-pound quarterback.

The Seahawks cornerback called out Kaepernick’s speed and play-making ability as the biggest reasons for the 49ers quarterback making the 2013 list. Plus, Sherman recognized Kaepernick’s winning performances.

If Kaepernick had started the entire season, Sherman believes he would have ranked much higher on the list.

“The thing that hurts him is he started halfway through the season,” the Seattle cornerback said.

Kaepernick started seven regular season games. He threw for 10 touchdowns and ran for five more scores.

He finished the regular season with 1,814 passing yards and a 98.3 quarterback rating. Kaepernick added 63 carries for 415 yards on the ground.

“Probably think the most talented player right now is Colin Kaepernick,” Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels said, who praised the 49ers quarterback for being a dual-threat. “A few guys have special ability to do that, going back to Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham, now you’ve got Colin Kaepernick. His game is awesome.”

Kaepernick’s performance picked up in the postseason.  He rushed for a league-record, 181 yards against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. It was the most single-game rushing yards by a quarterback in NFL history and it was Kaepernick’s first career postseason start. Kaepernick finished the postseason with a 100.9 passer rating while leading the franchise to a sixth Super Bowl appearance.

“He brings that pocker-passer slash explosive rusher to the field,” New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said. “I played against him in college and he probably ran for more and passed for more (yards)… Against us, it really wasn’t surprising to me.”

Kaepernick had big road wins in New Orleans and New England to get himself ready for clutch postseason performances.

His first breakthrough moment, however, came at the expense of the Chicago Bears in Week 10.

“We were his coming out party,” Bears cornerback Tim Jennings said with a grin.

The Pro Bowl cornerback and his star-studded defensive teammates were in awe of Kaepernick’s passing and running ability. Chicago couldn’t slow down San Francisco’s emerging play-maker and as a result, they were defeated 32-7.

“It wasn’t just one play, they had complimentary plays,” Jennings recalled of Kaepernick’s 243-yard, two-touchdown passing debut. “They were in certain formations they could run the ball out of, then they’d go back in the same formation and play-action.”

Kaepernick’s first career start featured precision throws to the tune of 16-of-23 completed passes.

“He has the arm to put the ball where it’s supposed to be and he made a lot of good throws… a lot of great throws that game,” Jennings said. “I think it did surprise me as an individual and I think it did surprise the defense a whole lot, because we didn’t know a whole lot about Kaepernick. You have to tip your hats to him and the team to put him in the position to make those kinds of plays.”

The game-changing plays continued for the rest of Kaepernick’s 10 starts and will be a staple of the 49ers offense for years to come.

“That’s a scary person to play against, a guy you definitely have to look out for,” Daniels said.

Kaepernick’s own teammates recognize his unique ability and believe he should be included in the Top 100 list.

“I think from the time he took over and the success that he had, he should be on the list,” third-year linebacker Aldon Smith said.

“He came in late but he took the league by absolute storm,” Kyle Williams added. “He changed our identity.”

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