The NFL Network has voted San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick at No. 81 in the top 100 players in the NFL for 2014. You can take that as a compliment or a sign that Kaepernick really didn’t progress in his play from the 2012, because he should have improved in the 2013 season. But what we saw from Kaepernick was a decrease in his numbers from completing 62.4 percent of his passes in 2012 to completing 58.4 percent in 2013.
Kaepernick’s passing rating is also down from 98.3 to 91.6, as well as his average per completion from 8.32 to 7.69. Kaepernick’s rushing average was also down from 6.6 yards per carry in 2012 to 5.7 in 2013.
Some of the blame for Kaepernick’s lower statistics can rest on the Niners being without their No.1 wide receiver Michael Crabtree through much of the season, as he tore his Achilles in his left leg during training camp, and he didn’t return until late in the season. Crabtree is Kaepernick’s favorite receiver by far. While Kaepernick was able to adapt by throwing the ball to Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis, Kaepernick still didn’t have a second good receiver to throw the ball to. The Niners used a variety of receivers to try and fill the second receiver spot, such as Kyle Williams, Jon Baldwin and Quinton Patton, but none of them proved to be effective. The Niners wasted a 2nd round draft pick in selecting tight end Vance McDonald out of Rice, as he proved to have butter fingers when it came to trying to catch the ball, and he ended up contributing little to the team in 2013.
Kaepernick shouldn’t have any excuses for his numbers getting better in the 2014 season, because Crabtree is healthy, and the Niners have an excellent No.3 receiver in Steven Johnson, who should be able to help out in giving breaks to Boldin and Crabtree. The Niners also drafted speedy wide receiver Bruce Ellington in the 4th round out of South Carolina, and they have Brandon Lloyd as well.
The Niners are planning on giving Kaepernick an extension, but they really should wait until the 2014 season is over, because Kaepernick might be a one hit wonder, and not capable of playing at the same level that he did in 2012.