Colin Kaepernick is not only good enough to play in the NFL right now ... he's "ready to go" for a tryout ASAP -- so says his ex-49ers coach, Chip Kelly.
Kap played under Chip back in 2016 ... and actually began his anthem kneeling protests that season. The QB is now suing the NFL, claiming he's been blackballed by teams ever since.
Chip is now the head coach at UCLA -- and, when we got him out at Craig's on Thursday night ... he seemed to agree with Kap -- saying the guy is DEFINITELY still good enough to play in the league.
In fact ... Chip tells us he's under the impression Kap could try out for a team TODAY -- and still impress.
"I think he's ready to go."
Of course, the league's commissioner says otherwise ... Roger Goodell just told reporters he believes it's Kap's skill set -- not his politics -- that is keeping him from playing.
But Chip tells us, "anybody that wants a good quarterback" should sign him.
BTW ... Chip was out at the L.A. hot spot with high school football star Puka Nacua -- one of the top WRs in the country who's visiting from Utah.
The reason this is a big deal is because Puka had previously committed to USC ... yet, here he is at dinner with UCLA's top man just days before National Signing Day.
So, can Chip flip Puka from Troy to Westwood??? We talked to Puka about it ... and it seems he's got a lot of thinking to do before putting the pen to paper.