Mailbag: Keeping pressure on Kaepernick?

June, 7, 2014
Jun 7
9:00
AM ET
Weekend mail call:

Cedric from Memphis wants to know if I agree with him that San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick needs a quality backup like Alex Smith to keep him on his toes.

Bill Williamson: I think every team would love to have a top-shelf backup quarterback, but that is not exactly easy to accomplish. Smith was a starter and that's why he was traded. Blaine Gabbert likely won't keep Kaepernick "on his toes," but I don't see motivation as a big issue for him, anyway.

Kris from Missoula, Montana wants to know if there are any updates on defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye.

BW: He is still learning the game. The former British Olympic discus thrower spent last year on the injured reserve. He is very much in the learning process of the game. But he is extremely athletic and he has a chance to develop. I think the 49ers would like to put him on the practice squad.

Craig from Fox Island, Washington, wants to know if I think receiver Jon Baldwin could be moved to tight end.

BW: Conceivably, sure. Baldwin is 6-foot-4, 230 pounds. He is big and he could probably get bigger. If Vernon Davis holds out in training camp, perhaps the 49ers would think about it. Baldwin has virtually no chance to make the roster as a receiver. I think the chances of him making it as a tight end would be a longshot as well. The former first-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs has had trouble making an impact in the league in any way.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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