Ryan Mallett sweated it out for three hours.
All three quarterbacks will now join the rest of the NFL players in waiting who knows how long to report to their teams now that the lockout is back in place.
In a draft that has seen teams reaching out for passers _ four of the first 12 overall picks were quarterback Thursday night _ Dalton of TCU was snapped up by the Cincinnati Bengals with the third pick of the second round Friday night.
The next pick saw the San Francisco 49ers trade up with Denver to snag Kaepernick of Nevada.
The second day of the draft also brought more chaos on the labor front: The lockout is on again after a federal appeals court in St. Louis put a judge’s order lifting the lockout on hold.
Hours after players reported to their team headquarters to work out and pick up playbooks, the league issued a memo Friday night to all 32 teams saying “lockout rules are reinstated effective immediately.”
Dalton, meanwhile, will be stepping into an intriguing situation whenever the league resumes business: The Bengals’ incumbent, Carson Palmer, has demanded a trade, and Dalton has all the tools that just might pave the way for Palmer’s exit _ whenever the league allows it.
“We spent a lot of time on this, no question,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “It’s a big, important, important pick, important piece.”
The 49ers, also in need of a quarterback to challenge Alex Smith, went for Kaepernick, a former pitcher with a powerful arm.
Kaepernick was watching the draft with his family in Turlock, Calif., about a two-hour drive from the 49ers’ practice facility in Santa Clara. He was so excited he was contemplating making the drive immediately _ even though he might be turned away when he gets there.
“That just makes it that much easier for my family, friends to come and see me,” Kaepernick said. “I know everybody in Reno was hoping I went to the 49ers as well. For me, it was the perfect pick.”
Mallett, at 6-foot-6 and 253 pounds, is experienced with the prostyle offense. His stock dropped, though, due to character concerns, which included a 2009 arrest for public intoxication.
With Tom Brady around for at least four more years, the Patriots probably figured why not take a chance on an heir apparent. After all, the only other quarterback on their active roster last year was Brian Hoyer.