clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Alternate history: Imagine if the Raiders had traded up for Colin Kaepernick?

Peter King provided an account of the Oakland Raiders attempts to move up in the 2011 NFL Draft to acquire Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick. Imagine what could have been?

Ezra Shaw

SI's Pete King released his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column, and he opened with an intriguing anecdote about 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick.

King apparently was with the 49ers during the 2011 NFL Draft, and there were reports at the time that the Oakland Raiders were interested in the Nevada quarterback. King was with Kap on Thursday when he surprised his former high school at their graduation ceremony. King asked Kap about the Raiders reports and Kap confirmed that then-head coach Hue Jackson had told him the Raiders were going to do everything in their power to get him. Kap had worked out for the 49ers, but he said he did not hear back from the team after the workout.

It's all well and good to hear what a team thinks before the draft, but Hue Jackson spoke with King on Sunday and confirmed that the team had Kap at the top of their QB board. Both the 49ers are Raiders reportedly tried to deal with the Patriots, but New England wanted a second and a third to move up. The 49ers offered a pair of thirds and New England turned them down. The 49ers ended up swapping second round picks with the Broncos in exchange for a fourth and a fifth round pick.

Kap's dad reportedly heard Al Davis threw a glass when the 49ers made the pick. Jackson did not confirm that, but did regret not getting the QB:

"I don't know that he threw anything ... But he was upset. So was I. Scouting him, I fell in love with the kid. Leader, won a ton of games at Nevada, really impressive when you talked to him, strong, all the tools to win in the NFL. No doubt in my mind he was going to be good.''

This kind of thing goes to show the value of the 49ers attempts to say as little as humanly possible to the media. The Raiders were fairly prominently connected with Kaepernick, while the 49ers appeared to have played things incredibly cool. What's even more incredible is that this happened in the opening months of the Trent Baalke/Jim Harbaugh partnership. It seems safe to say these two were on the same page from the start.

Things obviously worked out well for the 49ers, but it does make you wonder about the alternate history that could have emerged. If the Raiders had managed to get Kaepernick, it's tough to say what the 49ers would have done instead at the QB position. The rest of the 2011 class left plenty to be desired. The quarterbacks drafted after Colin Kaepernick included Ryan Mallett, Ricky Stanzi, T.J. Yates, Nathan Enderle, Tyrod Taylor and Greg McElroy.

The 49ers ended up grabbing Scott Tolzien off waivers from the Chargers at the end of the preseason. Maybe they draft Tolzien in the seventh round instead of letting him go undrafted? Or maybe they had an eye on one of the other quarterbacks that was drafted. I'm plenty happy with how things played out, but it does make me wonder, what if?

Keep Reading: