Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Mar 2013

RSPWP2: Waldman's Early Thoughts

The second annual Rookie Scouting Portfolio Writers Project is two rounds in. Matt Waldman shares his thoughts on the RSPWP2.

Posted by: Matt Waldman on 06 Mar 2013

4 comments, Last at 06 Mar 2013, 5:25pm by Sifter


by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 12:16pm

I know that a lot of people are convinced otherwise but I think too much is made of Kaepernick being scheme specific. The niners only ran 15 read option plays during his time as a starter during the regular season and he finished the year third in passing DVOA and third in QBR. He does struggle a little with touch throws in the red zone but I've also seen him throw some beautiful touch passes to Walker and Davis, who promptly dropped them, eg. what should have been a game winning over the shoulder feather-fall to Walker on the goalline versus the Rams that Walker Delanied to the floor.

My take on the exercise as a whole is that too many guys are failing to put a sufficient premium on youth, this process reminds me a lot of the fantasy draft franchise option on Madden and I would always clean up by going for young players, who would play above their rating and then improve to the best team in the league over a couple of seasons.

by Sifter :: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 5:25pm

You are right about the read option, but I'm not sure that's playing a huge role in Kaepernick being seen as a system QB. I think people talk just as much about Kaep's success being team specific ie. maybe it's Harbaugh or the line that deserve the most credit. After all Alex Smith improved a lot under Harbaugh, maybe he just runs a great scheme for QBs - that kind of thinking. I'm not sure I buy that either, but he's certainly landed in a good situation to showcase his skills.

by Matt Waldman :: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 1:21pm

It's going to be fascinating to see who cleans up on youth.

RE: Kaepernick - I have no doubts he'll improve, but the touch throws and the fine points of his game still need work. He'll get there. Just thought it was worth pointing out he's not a slam dunk just yet (although I would have been happy with taking him there).

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 1:39pm

I'm not meaning to suggest that Kaep doesn't have some rough edges that need to be smoothed, it was more in response to the fella who took him describing him as needing to work in the pistol. Part of what makes me look forwards to seeing Kaepernick's career unfold is the large strides he's already made as he develops from the mobile baseball pitcher he was in college to a pro quarterback's release. I think it shows that he's coachable, diligent and should have the ability to further improve.