6 Senior Bowl QBs in 6 days: Colin Kaepernick

Nevada's Colin Kaepernick has the height and the speed, but he might need to prove he belongs with some of the top quarterbacks entering the draft. He'll get that opportunity next week at the Senior Bowl. Here is a preview of what Kaepernick brings to the college all-star game.

Editor's note: VikingUpdate.com will be evaluating the six Senior Bowl quarterbacks at practices next week and conducting interviews with them during the week. This is a statistical look at the first of them leading up to the Senior Bowl.

If the Vikings are looking for athleticism at the quarterback position beyond Joe Webb, they won't have to rely on Auburn's Cam Newton. Lesser known Colin Kaepernick out of Nevada has experienced every bit the kind of dual-threat success as Newton, albeit at a lower level.

Kaepernick finished his career with 59 rushing touchdowns, tying former Nebraska Husker Eric Crouch for most by a quarterback, and Kaepernick is the first player in college football history to pass for at least 9,000 yards and rush for 4,000, according to The Sports XChange.

The Vikings scouting department and coaching staff will get a closer look at Kaepernick and five other quarterbacks next week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Although Kaepernick built a solid four-year career at Nevada, he has become more prevalent on the NFL radar after leading the Wolfpack to a 12-1 record and snapping a four-game bowl losing streak by the school when he threw for 192 yards to give Nevada a school-record tying 13th win over Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

For all he did to help Nevada to those 13 wins, he had one of his worst games during the Wolfpack's only loss of the 2010 season. During their 27-21 loss to Hawaii in October, he fumbled twice and threw an interception on the final drive.

That midseason game was a blip on the rising star of Kaepernick, who has something in common with Newton and another quarterback that was on radar of Vikings fans before the 2010 draft, Tim Tebow. Kaepernick, Newton and Tebow are the only players in NCAA history to throw 20 touchdowns and run for 20 in a season. Kaepernick's senior season included 3,022 yards passing with a 64.9 completion percentage, 21 touchdowns passes, eight interceptions and only eight sacks.

He is also the only player in NCAA history throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in three straight seasons, something that Joe Webb accomplished twice. Kaepernick offers a unique blend of height (6-foot-6) and speed (running around a 4.5 40-yard dash). In addition to efficient passing numbers, he rushed for 16 or more touchdowns in each of his final three seasons.

Kaepernick has had fairly consistent and solid statistics throughout his four years at Nevada, completing between 53.8 percent (in 2007) and 64.9 (2010) of his passes each season, throwing anywhere from 2,052 yards passing (2009) to 3,022 yards (2010) and having between 19 (2007) and 22 (2008) touchdowns passing.

Kaepernick didn't have SEC competition, but he will get a chance to show his skills against some of the best draft prospects in country next week and try to prove that he now belongs with the NCAA elite.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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