SANTA CLARA – It takes 49ers running back Frank Gore 10 seconds to tick off the names of the five running backs taken ahead of him in the 2005 draft.
No one has timed Colin Kaepernick when it comes to the five quarterbacks already selected when the 49ers drafted him in the second round (36th overall) in 2011, but he acknowledged it's a motivating force.
"It's something I definitely haven't forgotten," Kaepernick said Wednesday.
One of the five, Jake Locker, was taken eighth overall by the Tennessee Titans.
Kaepernick said he remembers having a productive, pre-draft visit in Tennessee and feeling he could wind up with the Titans.
"I thought I was someone they were interested in," he said. "Whether it was then (at pick No. 8) or later, I didn't know. But it's in the past now."
Titans coach Mike Munchak confirmed Kaepernick was someone they had circled that spring. What did he think of Kaepernick during his visit?
" 'My gosh, this guy's a man,' " Munchak said on a conference call. "Just a good-looking kid that was smart. And like I said, he had a passion for the game. That kind of always strikes me with players, the guys that really love what they do. He was one of those guys. That's why I wasn't surprised when I saw him, all of a sudden, he was starting last year and he was making plays."
Locker hasn't played since Week 4, when he suffered a right hip injury against the Jets. Munchak said the quarterback has been cleared medically but will be eased back into the position. Ryan Fitzpatrick started the past two games for Tennessee, both losses. Fitzpatrick has a 61.2 passer rating this season.
While Munchak sounded skeptical, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he wouldn't be surprised to see Locker, whom he coached against at Stanford four times when Locker was at Washington. The Cardinal was 3-1 in those games, with Locker's only victory in 2007.
"He's always been an extremely tough competitor," Harbaugh said. "That's why you (think), knowing the competitor he is, if there's any possible way that he would play, he'll be out there."
D-line down – The 49ers practiced Wednesday without their starting defensive line.
Ray McDonald (biceps) and Glenn Dorsey (hamstring) were working on a side field with the team's strength staff when practice began, while Justin Smith (shoulder) was in the weight room. Smith, a 13-year veteran, often gets a day off of practice. That was the case last week and could be a trend for the rest of the season.
The silver lining to the injuries is that the team's backups, particularly rookies Quinton Dial and Tank Carradine, received extra repetitions in practice. Both have recovered from offseason injuries and took part in their first session Tuesday.
"As much football as possible," Harbaugh said of their workload. " As many reps as we can get them both with our defense and on the scout team, 11-on-11 football."
Both players can be elevated to the 53-man roster in the next 19 days.
Dial, in fact, could be activated soon if Dorsey is ruled out for Sunday's game. If Dorsey can't play, Tony Jerod-Eddie would start at nose tackle.
Guard Alex Boone also was working out on a side field at the start of practice. He was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury on last week's injury report but played a full game against Arizona.
Read Matthew Barrows' blogs at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen to his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320.