Kaepernick Ready For His Coming-Out Party

Friday's game should showcase the rookie's arm, according to Harbaugh.

When the 49ers gave up three draft picks in April so they could move up to draft Colin Kaepernick in the second round, it was with the idea that he’s the quarterback of the future.

Well, that future is now.

That doesn’t mean he’s ready to push Alex Smith aside and take the No. 1 job, but it does mean the 49ers will get a chance to see what the big rookie from Nevada can do for the first time against NFL competition.

Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh says Kaepernick likely will play the most snaps in Friday night’s preseason opener at New Orleans, playing the second and third quarters after Smith plays the first.

“A healthy amount of Colin I think would be a good way to frame it,” Harbaugh said on KNBR this week. “So he’ll be in the ballgame quite a bit. I’m really excited to get him in there.”

As a senior at Nevada, Kaepernick threw for 3,022 yards and 21 TDs with just eight interceptions, while also rushing for 1,206 yards. His skills were perfect for Nevada’s exotic “Pistol” scheme, but now he’ll be running a West Coast offense.

Harbaugh consistently has praised both Smith and Kaepernick through training camp. Wednesday he said Smith has been “outstanding” this week and “Colin is right there with him.” Harbaugh told the Chronicle he’s been impressed with Kaepernick’s ability to pick up the offense.

Because Smith had to remain on the sidelines for the first few days of camp as the CBA was being finalized, Kaepernick was the de facto No. 1 QB in camp and got the most reps.

Apparently, the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder is making fans.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman told the Chronicle last week, “We’re thrilled with how he’s progressing.”

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