2011 NFL Draft, Round 2, No. 36 Overall
In what might have been the first sign of disagreement between former 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and then-general manager Trent Baalke, the Niners moved up in Round 2 of the 2011 NFL Draft to take former Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
I remember reading somewhere Baalke wanted Andy Dalton, but Harbaugh was convinced Kaepernick was the guy to have.
Harbaugh eventually got his way — which could be the start of their feud — and, at the time, it sure looked as if the former head coach was right.
Kaepernick rode the bench his rookie season but caught the league by storm the following year after Alex Smith suffered a concussion midway through 2012. The dual-threat QB was part of something never truly seen by NFL defenses before, and Kap rode that momentum all the way to Super Bowl XLVII.
Just look at what Fox Sports analysts had to say about Kap following San Francisco’s demolishing of the Packers in the postseason:
But all this started to crumble in 2014. Harbaugh was under fire from internal infighting, which left Kaepernick alone in the eyes of the front office.
When the team “mutually” parted ways with Harbaugh, Kap’s biggest ally was gone.
2015 was bad enough, so bad Kaepernick ended up being benched for draft-bust QB Blaine Gabbert.
And while Kaepernick managed to recover his starting job under former head coach Chip Kelly in 2016, all signs pointed to the quarterback being out of San Francisco the following offseason.
He’s still a free agent.