Could Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick wind up going in the first round?

If someone had suggested three months ago that Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick could go in the first round of this year’s draft, that person would have probably been laughed at. In fact, ‘No way!’, ‘You’re an idiot!’, ‘I hate your face!’ would have likely been some of the typical responses.

But times have changed.

About a week ago, NFL Network’s Albert Breer was the latest to suggest that Kaepernick could merit first-round consideration. Granted, he did say late first-round consideration, but first-round consideration nonetheless.

Breer isn’t alone either. Kaepernick’s combination of size, athleticism and arm strength has garnered some attention over these last couple of months and it appears as though the former Wolfpack is steadily rising up draft boards. According to FOX Sports, he’s “scheduled to take 13 trips” to meet with NFL teams before the draft, with another three “in the works.” A few more teams are also reportedly set to come out to Reno to watch him workout as well.

That said, the biggest challenges that Kaepernick faces are that 1) he played in the pistol offense at Nevada and therefore has never ran a pro-style offense, and 2) he may have to adjust his unorthodox throwing motion when he gets to the next level. Granted, he’s not a work-in-progress like Tim Tebow was last year but he’s not Philip Rivers either in terms of his release (even though the ball does come out of his hand quickly).

Depending on how far guys like Jake Locker, Ryan Mallett and Christian Ponder fall, Kaepernick will likely go somewhere in the middle rounds (i.e. 2 through 4). It still seems like a stretch that he would go in the first round, although it’s certainly not as big a stretch as it was three months ago.

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