Quarterback Jeff Driskel
Most pundits probably want to see how probable-No. 1 quarterback Blaine Gabbert will, as Niner Noise’s Chandler Wright suggested, bounce back from his preseason efforts against the Houston Texans.
Yes, Gabbert wasn’t particularly effective outside of his 43-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vance McDonald.
But an even more intriguing storyline to watch will be the play of rookie signal-caller Jeff Driskel.
Driskel’s efforts versus the Texans weren’t great either. He went 4-of-12 for 20 yards and had a lowly 42.4 passer rating. Yet the rookie did manage to scramble for 61 yards — second only behind running back Mike Davis (72) during the game.
San Francisco’s sixth-round pick looked every part a rookie under center playing his first on-field NFL snaps.
Against a top-tier Broncos defense, even if their starters are long out of the game at this point, Driskel’s efforts should garner a little extra attention. His performance in camp has been solid, but can he match that against an opponent with which he’s not entirely familiar?
The only thing at stake would be a roster spot. And with fellow QB Colin Kaepernick (arm) on the mend and without any clear answer regarding his return, the 49ers have to be paying close attention as well.
Next: Linebacker Gerald Hodges