San Francisco 49ers: Projecting 53-Man Roster in 2016
By Peter Panacy
Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, Jeff Driskel
OK, onto the slide everyone is waiting for.
Yes, Colin Kaepernick edges out Blaine Gabbert, the guy who surpassed Kap on the depth chart last year, for this year’s quarterback competition.
To do so, Kaepernick will have to come from behind — he wasn’t able to participate in practice due to his offseason surgeries — as Gabbert received first-team reps. And it’s even possible some members of the 49ers are pulling for Gabbert to get the starting job, as described in the video below:
Call it a hunch, but head coach Chip Kelly will likely want to see what he has in Kaepernick first before a possible move to Gabbert.
Few should doubt Kaepernick has a higher ceiling, based on his raw skill set alone, than his counterpart. A new head coach — one with an ability to boost quarterbacks — certainly helps here.
By no means does this assure Kap retains the starting job for the entirety of 2016. But, seeing how the 49ers still control his rights for the foreseeable future, Kaepernick should receive first consideration.
More from Niner Noise
- 49ers 2023 NFL Draft tracker: Pick-by-pick news and analysis
- Predicting 49ers NFL Draft picks by looking at final mocks
- DraftKings NFL Draft Promo – Win $150 Guaranteed on Any $5 Bet
- 2023 NFL Draft: EDGE Byron Young could be impact player for 49ers
- 5 low-key NFL Draft options for 49ers who are flying under the radar
It’s a job Kaepernick will have to retain though. Perhaps the knowledge of a starting-caliber quarterback like Gabbert looking over his shoulder and hot on his tail will provide the added motivation to try to regain the same form Kap had back in 2012 and 2013.
Maybe it’s not. Who knows what will happen here.
But, to start, Kaepernick wins out atop the quarterbacking depth chart.
Some players are listed twice, and there are a few spots still up for grabs (likely special teams contributors). But this should hammer out an initial look at what the 53-man roster could be in 2016.
Next: Steps to Rebuild the 49ers in 2016
All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com and Sports-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated.