In the 2011 draft, 35 players were selected ahead of Colin Kaepernick, including five quarterbacks. As pleased as he is to be leading the 49ers into the playoffs, Kaepernick is carrying a grudge from April 28, 2011, when his name wasn't among those called in the first round.
"That's something I carry with me every day," Kaepernick told Jim Rome on CBS Sports Radio. "Going through the draft process and seeing people taken before you, it really kind of puts a chip on your shoulder.
"People didn't think I was up to the standards of those quarterbacks. To me that was a challenge to go prove everybody wrong and that you're better than those quarterbacks and you can go out and win games."
Selected ahead of Kaepernick were: Cam Newton (No. 1, Carolina Panthers), Jake Locker (No. 8, Tennessee Titans), Blaine Gabbert (No. 10, Jacksonville Jaguars), Christian Ponder (No. 12, Minnesota Vikings) and Andy Dalton (No. 35, Cincinnati Bengals).
The 49ers moved up to select Kaepernick with the fourth pick of the second round, one spot after Dalton. Why didn't other teams bite on him earlier?
"I'm not sure. That's something I'd like to ask a few coaches," Kaepernick told Rome. "But I'm happy to be in San Francsico, I'm happy with the place I'm at and I'm happy with this opportunity and situation."
Kaepernick will make his eighth straight start when the 49ers (11-4-1) host a divisional-round playoff game Jan. 12.
Here are other highlights of Kaepernick's debut in "The Jungle:"
On Alex Smith: "Alex has been phenomenal. I can't say enough about how he's been through the situation and how his attitude has been. He helps me throughout the week, helps me during games, making sure I'm seeing things. When you come to the sideline and you ask, 'Did you see the same thing I did?' and you get confirmation from someone that's been in the league for eight years, it gives you confidence going back out there."
On Jim Harbaugh: "Coach Harbaugh is a maniac. He's going to do anything he can to try to get a win. From what you're doing in the week for preparation, he's going to try to perfect everything, make sure everything's clear in your head and you're ready to go. ...if it means extra hours, extra reps we're going to do that. It's been working. You can't say anything but good things about him."
On 2012: "It's been a little bit crazy. You go from being the No. 2 quarterback just trying to do anything you can to get on field, to finally getting your opportunity to start a game and have teammates rely on you to help get wins and get to the playoffs. It was crazy how quickly things changed."
On when he knew he could win as a starter: "It was before I stated playing actually. I felt very confident going through training camp ... To get that start Monday night and play well, it confirmed it in my mind that I can come out and compete with anybody."
On his tattoos: "Most of my tattoos are religious. ... I have a lot of tattoos that I thought about for a long time before I got them. They mean something to me and they're something I'll take with me forever. It's a different era with tattoos now. Now it's people expressing themselves, what they feel and who they are."
On his pet tortoise: "Sammy was maybe the size of a regular cookie at biggest. Now he's 120 pounds, walking around backyard tearing things up. He got sent to us in a little FedEx box. He just comes out whenever he's hungry and roams around. He knows as soon as the back door opens, normally it's his turn to get fed, so he's going to come out looking for food."