DRAFT: Kaepernick elects to stay home instead of attending the draft

Colin Kaepernick picked the living room at his parents' house over the green room at Radio City Music Hall.

The Nevada quarterback declined an invitation to attend the NFL draft Thursday night in New York so he could relax with friends and family in his hometown of Turlock, Calif., about 90 miles south of Sacramento.

"The biggest thing for me was I wanted to be with my family. There's been a lot of people who have been there for me and supported me through this and I wanted to make sure everybody could be a part of it," he said in a phone interview Wednesday night.

"It's a time for us to hang out and catch up and relax."

So while Cam Newton, Patrick Peterson, Von Miller and more than two dozen other potential high draft picks were tooling around Manhattan, participating in flag football games with grade school kids and meeting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Kaepernick was catching up with his friends from high school.

As for draft day, he'll do his best to treat it like any other.

"Work out in the morning and spend the rest of the day with my uncles and friends," he said.

Time to relax has been at a premium for Kaepernick.

Since playing his last game for Nevada - a 20-13 victory against Boston College in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco - he has trained for a month and a half in Atlanta, attended the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and the combine in Indianapolis, and visited more than a dozen NFL teams.

"Exciting and crazy," he said of preparing for the draft. "It's such a privilege to have that opportunity to go through this whole process.

"At the same time, you're running everywhere. For the last two months it seems like I've been on dead sprint from morning to night every day. But it's such a great experience to have and go through."

The 6-foot-5, 233-pound quarterback is the only player in college football history to have three seasons in which he rushed for 1,000 yards and passed for 2,000, but he wasn't thought of as a possible first-round pick until the past few months.

His powerful arm stacks up to any quarterback in the draft. He's got the speed and agility to get away from all those blitz-happy defenses NFL teams use. And he seems to have a spotless resume off the field.

The general consensus among those who try to forecast the draft is that while there is a chance Kaepernick could go in the first round, it's more likely he will be selected on Day 2 during the second or third round.

Among the teams reportedly interested: San Francisco, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee.

Kaepernick is trying not to get caught up in the speculation or worry about where he ends up or when he is drafted. He said his family has had a more difficult time sharing his laid-back approach.

"I think they're more excited about it than I am," he said. "They're definitely running around talking about all the different scenarios and what could happen. While I'm just sitting back, watching to see how it plays out.

"There's been a few times where they get worked up about where I might be going and what someone says."

Over the next couple nights at the Kaepernick house, with plenty of brats, burgers and pizza on hand, Colin and his family will finally know where this journey ends.


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