Colin Kaepernick's high ceiling

If the 49ers keep him upright, Kaepernick could become the NFL's top QB

Updated: January 28, 2013, 12:43 PM ET
By Ron Jaworski | ESPN Insider
Colin Kaepernick AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezGiven his arm strength, accuracy and mobility, it's no wonder Colin Kaepernick is the 49ers' starter.

When it comes to the NFL, there is a focus on immediacy -- the here and now. If guys can't hack it on one Sunday, they're replaced by the next. If a quarterback can control the game and guide his team to victory, he gets the nod the next week. Of course, that wasn't the case with San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith. And that is why the world was so surprised to see Colin Kaepernick stick as the Niners' starter even after Smith returned to health.

Smith was 6-2 as San Francisco's starter before he went down with a concussion in a game Nov. 11. With a 70.2 completion percentage, averaging nearly 8 yards per pass attempt, and a QBR of 70.1, Smith was having by far the best season of his career. Those numbers made coach Jim Harbaugh's move to Kaepernick something of an anomaly. But now, on the eve of the Super Bowl, we've all seen what Harbaugh saw in practices and training camps the past two seasons. In Kaepernick, Harbaugh has a young, athletic and savvy quarterback who has all of the tools to become the best quarterback in the NFL.

Ron Jaworski

NFL analyst / writer
Ron Jaworski is one of the most popular and knowledgeable analysts covering the NFL today. Since joining ESPN in 1990, the former standout NFL quarterback has covered the league from virtually every angle -- sideline reporter, game-site reporter, host and both studio and game analyst. From 2007-11, Jaworski occupied one of the most coveted positions in sports as a Monday Night Football analyst.