While everyone has been focusing on the SEC, a drama played out in Reno, Nevada, on Friday night that may have more implications for the Bills than anything that has been happening down South. There Colin Kaepernick, the QB of the #19-ranked Nevada Wolfpack, led his team to an incredible comeback win over #3-ranked Boise State. Nevada was down 24-7 at the end of the 3rd quarter, but Kaepernick engineered a series of brilliant drives, culminating in a TD pass with 13 seconds left, to bring Nevada to a 31-31 tie, and they then went on to victory by a FG in overtime. What is so stunning about Kaepernick's achievement against one of the best pass defenses in college football is that he has only one capable receiver on his roster, and that guy was continuously double-covered. Bosie State, by contrast, has two WR's who are likely to be drafted fairly high next April and a third who is also likely to get drafted in the future. Nonetheless, Kaepernick threw for 253 yards. He also ran for 59 yards and a TD.
If you think about it, Kaepernick is probably Chan Gailey's ideal QB. He is tall (6' 6"), incredibly durable (he has had only one minor injury in four years as a starter), very mobile and elusive (4.43 in the 40), has a true cannon arm (he would have been picked in the first round of the MLB draft as a pitcher if he had not chosen his first love, football), good accuracy (he was completing close to 70% of his passes up to the Boise St. game), is very smart (an Academic All-American), and has intangibles that simply go off the charts in terms of leadership and competitiveness, as he demonstrated against Boise. In addition, he has been running the Pistol offense in college -- Gailey's favorite scheme. He will obviously need to work on reading defenses in the NFL and he has a few flaws in his mechanics that need to be straightened out, but if the Bills were to take him in either round two or three (depending on where he is sitting in the draft rankings next April) and give him a couple of years to develop as an understudy while Fitz holds the fort, they might have their next true franchise QB ready just when they need him.
By the way, it was an exceptionally cold night in Reno on Friday. Buffalo weather.
There may be other options apparent at QB by the time the draft rolls around, but it seems to me that Kaepernick is definitely one guy we should all be keeping an eye on.