San Francisco 49ers: 10 Young Linchpin Players to Watch over Rest of 2015 Season

9 of 11

Nov 29, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert (2) throws the ball during warm ups before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert will still be only 26 years old at the start of the 2016 season.

And he could be campaigning for the starting QB position with the 49ers next year as well.

With quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s future in San Francisco in doubt, and the 49ers likely targeting a quarterback early in the 2016 NFL draft, Gabbert will have to showcase his talents and worthiness to remain a starting candidate next season and, perhaps, as a mentor to whomever San Francisco elects to draft.

Gabbert has shown far better poise within the pocket compared to his predecessor and, generally, has been far more effective at moving the offense despite the 49ers still ranking dead last in points this season (178).

The former first-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks nothing like the quarterback he was with his former team. Gabbert currently owns a 89.5 passer rating over four starts in San Francisco — by far the best since being drafted in 2011.

It also doesn’t hurt to see how mobile Gabbert is — a trait evidenced by his remarkable 44-yard touchdown scramble versus the Chicago Bears in Week 13.