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2011 NFL Draft: San Francisco 49ers Select Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick

The San Francisco 49ers saw an opportunity to jump on, and traded up to do so, taking quarterback Colin Kaepernick from the University of Nevada, Reno with the 36th pick overall. Announced by Niners legend Dwight Clark, the 249th selection in the 1979 draft out of Clemson, the Niners gave the Denver Broncos their 4th and 5th round picks for Kaepernick, likely to keep him away from NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals.

The 49ers saw Andy Dalton go to the Bengals and felt it was time to make the necessary move of picking up a great quarterback. As a former Nevada student myself, I am a bit biased here because I love how this kid plays the game. at 6’4" 220 pounds, Kaepernick (affectionately called Kap) is a beast, although he looks a bit skinny. He has top end speed for a QB and has the special ability to extend plays with his legs (a la Mike Vick). He is one of the only players in NCAA history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 2,000 yards in a season, and was a large reason why the Wolf Pack had a successful 2010 season, capped by beating #3 Boise State.

Kap was drafted by the Chicago Cubs as a pitcher, but luckily for the Niners decided to go the football route. I’ve seen this kid with my own eyes and he has a straight up cannon and is very accurate with the football. He’s from Turlock, CA and has Northern California roots, and in my opinion was a perfect fit for Jim Harbaugh and the offensive system he wants to run.

This is the most exciting pick to me since the 49ers drafted Michael Crabtree in 2009, and should be a serious contender for the starting position with the 49ers, even if they bring back Alex Smith.

The second round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 6 p.m. (ET) on Friday, April 29th and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare for it – NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it all out at SB Nation’s NFL Hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. Lastly, for more San Francisco 49ers coverage, check out our team blog Niners Nation.