NEW YORK — Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick is headed to San Francisco. Explaining how it happened shows the wheelin’-and-dealin’ side of the NFL draft.
League sources told NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora that the 49ers were “persistent” in trying to land Kaepernick, exploring trade options at the end of the first round before initiating talks with the Patriots and Bills at the top of the second. NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi reported that the Raiders (with picks 48 and 81) also were in talks with the Patriots, setting up a Bay Area battle for the QB.
Presumably, the Patriots’ price for the No. 33 pick was too high. But the 49ers — who, according to LaCanfora, believed they had to leapfrog the QB-needy Redskins at No. 41 after missing out on TCU’s Andy Dalton — pulled the trigger by dealing pick Nos. 45, 108 and 141 to the Broncos for the 36th selection, which San Francisco used on Kaepernick.
As the teams who started the day needing QB help positioned themselves, the options became even more slim once the Bengals selected Dalton with the third pick (35th overall) of the second round. NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan believes many teams eliminated Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett from their draft boards altogether, setting the stakes for Kaepernick.
“It’s clear from yesterday and today that teams are way over the value charts on trades,” Kirwan said. “That doesn’t make them wrong, but they’re ignoring it to get what they want. If they have a guy in mind who they believe can start for their team, they’re throwing caution to the wind to get him. Time will tell, but I can’t fault the 49ers.”
— Frank Tadych