While Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is coming off a Super Bowl victory another NFC West quarterback is looking for redemption in 2014. Yes, I’m talking about San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. Two players that are often compared to each other as they play in the same division, the question remains which quarterback is better? Some say Wilson while others say Kaepernick. And while both have their strengths and weaknesses, I believe Kaepernick to be the better signal caller.
Below is a breakdown of six skill sets I believe a quarterback needs to possess. From pinpoint accuracy to leadership, a good quarterback should have these qualities if they hope to be successful at the NFL level, and Wilson and Kaepernick are no different. So where does Kaepernick have the edge? Find out below as both have their pros and cons.
It’s hard to argue this one, as Wilson seems to always have complete command in the huddle while staying poised. Kaepernick, on the other hand shows his leadership qualities through his work ethic. He is often one of the first ones in and the last ones to leave. A true grinder, make no mistake Kaepernick is a leader in his own right. However, I have to give the edge to Wilson. He simply looks the part while not getting flustered when forced to use check downs. Not to mention, Wilson has a Super Bowl victory and two Pro Bowl appearances to his name, edge Wilson.
How many times have you seen Wilson buy time in the pocket? Whether using subtle side steps to find an open receiver or avoid a sure-handed sack by stepping up and throwing a downfield deep ball, Wilson does this extremely well. And while Kaepernick has more dual-threat ability, he often stares down his receivers too often as the blind side pass-rush forces sack/fumbles. If Kaepernick can improve in this area he would have the edge, but until that aspect of his game is polished, I have to give the edge to Wilson for now.
This is by far Kaepernick’s bread and butter. A cannon for an arm, Kaepernick can sling it with the best of them. A Brett Favre fan growing up, it’s no wonder Kap likes to show off his arm strength on the intermediate out-routes. Whether throwing deep bombs to TE Vernon Davis or a quick slant laser to WR Anquan Boldin, Kap can simply sling it with the best of them. The same can’t be said of Wilson however, as his arm strength is no where near Kap’s, edge Kaepernick.
Accuracy is not the first word that comes to mind when I think of Wilson and Kaepernick. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Both players have arms, that is a given due to their baseball backgrounds but often times you will see both quarterbacks overthrow their intended receivers who were wide open. And while Wilson finished the 2013 season with a 63.1 percent completion rate and Kaepernick finishing with a 58.4 percent, I can’t say five points is justifiable enough to give an edge to Wilson, especially with Kaepernick having little to work with as WR Michael Crabtree recovered from a torn Achilles, I have to say it’s a wash/tie.
This is Kaepernick’s game by far. The epitome of a dual-threat quarterback as Kaepernick shredded the Seahawks defense for 130 rushing yards in the NFC Championship Game, Kaepernick easily wins out. Combine that with Kaepernick holding the edge in rushing touchdowns with four while Wilson had one, you can see where Kaepernick’s value lies. However, Wilson is no slouch of his own, in fact the two quarterbacks practically mirror each other in the other rushing categories. How’s this for food for thought, Wilson finished the 2013 season with 539 rushing yards while Kaepernick finished with 524. That’s a 15 yard difference. Combine that with Kaepernick holding a .1 edge in yards per carry with a 5.7 compared to Wilson’s 5.6 while Kaepernick also holding a one-yard longer run from scrimmage with a 28-yard run compared to Wilson’s 27-yard run and you can see where the similarities lie. However, Kaepernick easily wins out due to defense’s specifically having to game-plan for his dual-threat ability week in-and-week-out, edge Kaepernick.
When it comes to will power to stay on the football field, I have to give the edge once again to Kaepernick. The guy is built like a gladiator from head-to-toe ready to do battle. And while he was dealing with a foot injury for the majority of the 2013 season, he did not complain or make any excuses for his poor play, instead he shook it off and continued to lead the team to victories. A true workout warrior with the heart of a lion, Kaepernick gets my vote in the toughness category.