FODDER: Why did 49ers wait so long? | NevadaAppeal.com
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FODDER: Why did 49ers wait so long?

Joe Santoro
For the Nevada Appeal

Sports fodder for a Friday morning … If the San Francisco 49ers wanted Colin Kaepernick so badly, why did they wait so long to pick him? Were they confident nobody else wanted him in the first or second round? Why didn’t they trade up into the first round to get him? Did they really want Andy Dalton? Has Alex Smith been Jim Harbaugh’s quarterback of choice all along? Maybe the 49ers, who haven’t drafted a successful NFL quarterback since they got some kid named Montana with the last pick in the third round in 1979, really don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to picking a quarterback.

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We must, however, give the 49ers a ton of credit for picking Kaepernick. Of all the players available in the draft, it took the most guts to draft the Nevada Wolf Pack quarterback. Cam Newton is Dwight Howard in shoulder pads. It doesn’t take a lot of guts to draft Superman. Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert, if all goes well, will turn into some combination of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Andy Dalton and Christian Ponder, if they’re lucky, turn into some variation of Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez. Ryan Mallett? Well, he’s already a Ryan Leaf-Jay Cutler combo. But what about Kaepernick? He could be anything and everything. Or he could be merely a skinnier, faster Byron Leftwich. Give the 49ers credit for their willingness to find out.

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The NFL lockout doesn’t do young quarterbacks like Kaepernick any favors. Depending on when all of this labor mess gets settled, it could be impossible for a young quarterback to see any meaningful playing time in 2011. In fact, the lockout could set Kaepernick’s career back two or three years, depending on how quickly it takes for Alex Smith (assuming he returns to the Bay area) to fail. What if Smith blossoms under Harbaugh? Can a raw talent like Kaepernick truly develop with the next-to-nothing snaps a backup quarterback in the NFL gets in practice? Everything worked to perfection for Kaepernick in Nevada. Odds are it won’t be so smooth in San Francisco.

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It was a great draft for the Western Athletic Conference. The WAC had 16 players selected last weekend and probably should have had 20 picked. The NFL draft, though, signaled the end of WAC football greatness. It was really the conference’s last hurrah. We won’t see a collection of great players like this one ever again in the Biggest Little Conference That Nobody Wants To Be A Part Of.

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It seems the New York Mets are ready to put Jose Reyes on eBay and the San Francisco Giants are all set to make a bid. If all it takes is Brandon Belt, Zack Wheeler and another minor leaguer or two, well, the Giants better not hesitate. The Giants, though, should not give up either Madison Bumgarner or Jonathan Sanchez. Reyes is a nice player and all but the Giants won a World Series last year with Edgar Renteria and Juan Uribe at short. You don’t need an all star shortstop to win a World Series. But you need pitching.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers are rumored to be in jeopardy of not being able to make their May payroll. If that happens all Dodger players could immediately file for free agency. How would Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier look in the Giants’ outfield? Do you think Clayton Kershaw would be a nice complement to Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain? Of course, it’s never going to happen. And even if it did, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox would merely sign all of the Dodger stars and leave teams like the Giants and Rockies to fight over Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles.

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The NCAA is considering moving the 3-point line in women’s basketball back a foot to 20-feet, 9-inches (the same as the men). Bad move. Women’s basketball does not need more missed shots. The line is perfect where it stands right now. In fact, if you want to make a change, move the 3-point line in another six inches. This was one of the greatest seasons in NCAA women’s basketball history. Don’t mess with it.

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The NBA is on the brink of a disaster. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are each a mere two losses away from not even getting to the conference finals. Even worse, the Miami Heat seemingly have a clear path to a championship with the Celtics and Lakers about to fade away. Does anybody north of Fort Lauderdale really want to see that?