Three of the four remaining quarterbacks alive in the NFL playoffs were drafted by MLB teams with Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning the lone signal-caller not a part of the two-sport group.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was drafted in the 43rd round by the Chicago Cubs in 2009 after his junior season at Nevada, where he never played baseball, but the Cubs liked what they had heard about his high school playing days.
“We had brief reports that he threw 89-93 mph in high school and his arm worked pretty good,” said Tim Wilken, who was the Cubs’ scouting director in 2009 and is now a special assistant for the club. “We had pretty good NFL contacts and we talked to three different NFL teams. One said Kaepernick would be a Canadian Football League player, and the other two said he’d be a late draft. That shows you how much he has improved after that sophomore season.”
Kaepernick’s counterpart on Sunday, Seattle Seahawks second-year quarterback Russell Wilson has had the most ballyhooed baseball career as he was drafted twice and played in the Colorado Rockies minor league system before committing full-time to football.
Wilson, a second baseman, was drafted originally by the Rockies in the fourth round in 2009 and later by the Baltimore Orioles in 2010 in the 41st round.
“At the time he came out of North Carolina State, we thought there was a good opportunity baseball would be his future,” Rockies scouting director Bill Schmidt says. “We knew he needed a lot of at-bats before we knew what we would really have. But the thing about Russell, he has off-the-charts character and work ethic, and whatever he puts his mind to is full go. He had some strength and quickness, and we felt in time he’d be able to play Major League defense.”
New England Patriots quarterback and future hall-of-famer, Tom Brady was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round out of Serra High in San Mateo, also the alma mater of Barry Bonds, but he was committed to football and one win away from a record sixth Super Bowl appearance, it’s safe to say he made the right choice.
Back to Manning, although he was never drafted like the other three, he does have a baseball connection as longtime Rockies first baseman and potential hall-of-famer Todd Helton served as his backup with the Tennessee Volunteers.