Las Vegas Raiders: What could Colin Kaepernick bring to the offense?

The Las Vegas Raiders gave Colin Kaepernick an opportunity to find his way back into the NFL in the form of a workout, which caused a stir over social media and within the fanbase. People for and against the Silver and Black opening its door to him feuded back and forth—some of it without any football context.

So we’ll bring it back to the schemes and concepts while cutting to the chase. The Raiders’ decision to take a look at Kaepernick absolutely makes sense from a football perspective.

When ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Raiders would work out Kaepernick, quarterback Marcus Mariota came to mind.

Colin Kaepernick could fill Marcus Mariota’s 2021 role

Kaepernick has a similar build and skill set to Mariota. They’re not the most accurate passers, but both can put some stress on a defense with their legs.

In six seasons, Kaepernick completed 59.8 percent of his pass attempts and rushed for 2,300 yards and 13 touchdowns. Through seven campaigns, Mariota has completed 62.8 percent of his passes and racked up 1,574 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.

Kaepernick hasn’t played in an NFL game since January of 2017, but if he’s still fairly mobile, head coach and offensive play-caller Josh McDaniels would likely feature that aspect of his skill set as former head coach and play-caller Jon Gruden did with Mariota last year.

In two years with the Raiders, Mariota only threw the ball 30 times, completing 18 of those attempts for 230 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He made one start in place of quarterback Derek Carr in Week 15 of the 2020 term. Last year, the dual-threat signal-caller threw just two passes but had a steady role on zone reads.

If you’re wondering how McDaniels would use Kaepernick take a look at those video snippets.

Even at 34 years old, Kaepernick can make an impact with quarterback keepers in short-yardage situations. On fresh legs, he’s probably capable of outrunning defensive linemen and some linebackers to move the chains or reach the corner pylon for a touchdown.

That’s probably part of the reason the Las Vegas Raiders wanted to take a closer look at him. Does he still have the foot quickness and athleticism that he displayed during his heyday? McDaniels and his staff will make that assessment.

Author: Lucy Green