Hue Jackson confirms Colin Kaepernick was the one that got away

Ronald Martinez

Just add this one to the long list of the Raiders "could've, would've, should've" club.

Hue Jackson and Al Davis were both on the same page about Colin Kaepernick. He was the top quarterback on their draft board that year and they wanted to draft him very badly. Jackson recently spoke with SI's Peter King and he still remembers it vividly.

"I think about it all the time, believe me," Jackson said "No question in my mind we wanted it to happen, and no question I thought it could happen. We wanted the kid in the worst way.”

A large chunk of history would have been changed with that single pick. There wouldn't have been a trade for Carson Palmer, there wouldn't have been a supplemental draft 3rd round pick used on Terrelle Pryor and it could have saved Hue's job to have found a Franchise QB that draft. I don't know given the circumstances around the team if it would have definitely saved Hue from the chopping block, but it would have helped as much as just about anything could have.

The problem was that the Raiders were only willing to give up their two 3rd round picks to move up and the Patriots were known to be asking for one of those 3rd rounders to be a 2nd instead. We know thanks to the 49ers GM Trent Balke who mentioned that they had offered the Patriots 2 round 3 picks for the 33rd pick owned by the Patriots but were rebuffed.

Lucky for the Niners they got the Raiders rival Denver Broncos to give up their 2nd round pick and get ahead of the Raiders. As soon as that happened Hue Jackson knew that getting Kaepernick had just gone up in smoke.

"When they made the trade,'' Jackson said, "I knew exactly what they were going to do. They were going to take Colin."

It was known that the Raiders had talked to the Patriots about the first pick in 2nd round but they decided they would wait it out. Al saw Stefen Wisniewski sitting there as a long time fix on the offensive line and wanted to make sure he got him first.

"When we talked internally,'' Jackson said, "we knew we needed to fortify the offensive line, and we really liked Stefan Wisniewski. I think [Al Davis] felt we'd get a lineman who we figured could play for us for 10 years, then we had two third-round picks, and we'd try to move up late in the second round or higher in the third and try to get Colin."

They figured wrong and lost out on a great quarterback. They just did not see the 49ers coming, Trent Balke and Jim Harbaugh had pulled one over on everybody involved in this. Colin Kaepernick himself said that he hadn't even had an inkling of thought to the 49ers. The Niners had not had any contact with Colin, unlike the Raiders.

"Coach Jackson told me before the draft they were going to do everything they could to try to get me,'' said Kaepernick. "I thought there was a good chance they'd pick me. I never heard anything from the 49ers before the draft after I worked out for them [at Nevada]. I just figured they weren't interested."

Al Davis was irate. He missed on his guy and he hated it. Colin's dad says he heard that Al had thrown a glass across the room in frustration when the 49ers pick had been announced. Hue Jackson doesn't verify that Al threw that glass, but he definitely verified that Al was mad and that they both knew that great things were on the horizon for Kaepernick.

"I don't know that he threw anything,'' said Jackson. "But he was upset. So was I. Scouting him, I fell in love with the kid. Leader, won a ton of games at Nevada, really impressive when you talked to him, strong, all the tools to win in the NFL. No doubt in my mind he was going to be good.''

It is anchient history now and it is just reminiscing over another past mistake but this one does sting. There were plenty of reports of the Raiders interest in Kaepernick before hand but this is the final stone of someone involved going on the record about it. If the Raiders have or can get a Franchise QB in the next year or two it will alleviate the sting for sure, but until then watching Kaepernick play will definitely be a painful reminder of what could have been.

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