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Niner Talk Bonus: Kaepernick vs. Combine QBs

Posted Feb 27, 2014

Why is Colin Kaepernick being compared to this year's combine quarterbacks? Niner Talk Bonus has a thought on the subject.

It's good to be back in California. The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine was full of highlights, but it's always nice to return home and get back to writing from my desk and not from a makeshift setup on the road.

This week's "Niner Talk" tackled the fallout from the combine, including my thoughts on the most memorable prospects from Indy. As for this week's bonus round of "Niner Talk," there are a number of quality questions that didn't quite make the show.

Let's get to the answers...

First of all, why aren't you a 49ers fan?

Seriously... For this one time, I'll be nice and answer your questions. I think the 49ers could stay true to their recent behavior and look to build from within. When the 49ers extended Daniel Kilgore's contract through 2017, general manager Trent Baalke offered a telling quote.

"This move is another example of our philosophy to extend the contracts of our own young players," Baalke said in a statement released by the team.

Sure, Baalke has gone out and signed outsiders in free agency (Craig Dahl, Phil Dawson and Glenn Dorsey in 2013), but he hasn't reached deep into the team's finances to sign non-49ers players to the roster. Will the team keep to that model in 2014? We'll find out starting on March 11 when free agency dominates the NFL news cycle.

As for your second question, I see the 49ers taking the best player available on their draft board. That's been the team's philosophy under Baalke. However, I will say that free agency will greatly impact the team's needs and speculating on potential fits right now is not a great idea. Let's wait and see what happens with free agency before we make specific draft predictions.

Nothing surprises me about Frank Gore. The same was said by Baalke at the combine. I'd expect Gore to be as hungry as ever in 2014. He loves the game and continues to work hard in the offseason. Gore has been working out in his home state of Florida and was even training with San Francisco Giants left fielder Michael Morse.

I would say 1/32 at the moment. Benjamin figures to be a first-round draft pick and any one of 32 teams could nab him on the first day of the draft. Will that be the 49ers? It's really hard to say right now. I'd assume that Anquan Boldin's future will have a big say on what the 49ers do with their first-round draft pick.

The player that earns it.

Marcus Lattimore will have to work his way into the 49ers plans to unseat Gore, the franchise's all-time leading running back. That being said, I'm eagerly looking forward to preseason football. Why? Because we'll be playing games inside of a new home stadium. And, we'll get to see how Lattimore looks against NFL talent.

Don’t get me started.

It's really hard to say. I'm not fully aware of what the 49ers are looking for at cornerback from a scheme perspective. My best guess would be great coverage skills and a willingness to tackle. From what I've heard, there appears to be some long-armed defensive backs in this year's draft and maybe one of those players could be attractive to the 49ers. It seems like Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, one of the top-rated cornerbacks in the draft, will go very high in the draft based on recent mock drafts from respected football scribes.

That being said, don't sleep on Chris Culliver. Cully has been making strides while rehabbing his knee injury and could be in the mix for a big role in 2014.

Speed is good TV chatter. It really is.

You don't see a lot of 60-yard shuttle coverage at the combine. What you do see is every prospect (and podcast-hosting anchor) run the 40-yard dash. It makes for good entertainment. With NFL quarterbacks using their running ability more than ever, it's always interesting to see how the fastest quarterbacks compare to recent athletic passers.

That's why it was fascinating to see Johnny Manziel's 40 compared to Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck.

If you missed that clip, no worries. Here it is:

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