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Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Comparing Gabbert and Kaepernick in 2011

By Bill Williamson

In the past week, the first three NFL seasons of Blaine Gabbert's and Colin Kaepernick's careers have been compared often.

The 49ers acquired Gabbert from Jacksonville for a sixth-round pick last week and Gabbert is poised to be Kaepernick's backup this season. Gabbert was the 10th overall pick of the 2011 draft, while the 49ers took Kaepernick with the No. 36 selection.

Kaepernick has had much NFL success in fewer than two full seasons as a starter, while Gabbert has struggled and is not considered a starting-quality player.

Why did Gabbert get selected so much earlier than Kaepernick? As a reader, Yosh from Cypress, Calif., pointed out, the two had very similar workout results at the combine.

Gabbert was 6 feet 4 and weighed 234 pounds; Kaepernick was 6-5, 233. Kaepernick ran the 40-yard dash in a smoking 4.53. Gabbert, though, also did well, posting a 4.61. Gabbert had a vertical leap of 33.5 inches, while Kaepernick came in at 32.5 inches.

Gabbert had a broad dump of 120 inches, while Kaepernick's was 115 inches. Kaepernick's shuttle time was 4.18 seconds, while Gabbert's was 4.26. Gabbert had a three-cone time of 6.84 seconds, while Kaepernick's was 6.85 seconds.

Gabbert clearly showed athleticism. The fact that he played at a higher level of college football at Missouri than Kaepernick did at Nevada probably played a role into why he was picked higher. But mistakes are made every year in the draft. The NFL is about results and Kaepernick has been the much better player.

Now, the 49ers, who were interested in Gabbert, hope to revive Gabbert's career and utilize some of the potential he showed at combine.