49ers vs. Broncos: Why Jeff Driskel Should Start for San Francisco

The San Francisco 49ers head into Denver to face the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos on Sunday for their second week of preseason. With the uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position, rookie Jeff Driskel should be given a shot.


The quarterback position for the San Francisco 49ers is an absolute mystery at this point in time, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to gain any clarity after Week 2 in the preseason.

Last week against the Houston Texans, the 49ers saw their starting QB Blaine Gabbert start off slow and didn’t really look like the starter he should be.

Former starting QB Colin Kaepernick didn’t even suit up after being reported to have “arm fatigue,” which later turned into what sources called a “dead arm” according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Third-string QB Thad Lewis tore his ACL and is now out for the remainder of the season, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

All of this put the organization into desperation mode for another QB. And they found one in signing former Minnesota Viking QB Christian Ponder to a one-year deal.

With Gabbert, at this moment in time, looking to be a lock to start in the regular season, the 49ers should start their sixth-round selection from the 2016 NFL Draft, Jeff Driskel.

Driskel is the only other QB that is 100 percent healthy. And to have a decent understanding of head coach Chip Kelly’s playbook, as of right now, Driskel is the backup QB.

Let’s get into a few reasons why Driskel should start against the Broncos.


Protect your starter

With the uncertainty surrounding Kaepernick, Gabbert is the presumed starter for the regular season. Having this knowledge, coach Kelly really doesn’t need to put Gabbert at any unnecessary risks.

If Gabbert goes down with an injury and Kaepernick’s arm doesn’t heal, Driskel will have to step up in the regular season. That would not be ideal for Kelly in his first year as head coach.

Driskel has good potential to be a starting QB in the NFL but, if he is thrown into the fire this soon, it will set him back. Driskel needs to sit and learn the system.


See what Driskel can do with starting talent

Driskel was able to get some live snaps against the Texans last Sunday with the third-team unit.

With the potential that Driskel has, why not see what he can do with the first-team?

The San Francisco 49ers are not favored in a single regular-season game in 2016 and are projected to be near the bottom of the league.

With this information, Kelly has nothing to lose in starting Driskel against the Broncos.

Not only will it give Kelly the chance to evaluate Driskel against one of the best defenses in the NFL but, it saves your starter from any injury.

It really is a win-win situation.


What does starting Gabbert prove?


Outside of giving Gabbert some live action and more film to learn from, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not going to make any difference.

Gabbert might be missing out on a few series of experience before he would be pulled anyways.

It all goes back to protecting your starter and having nothing to lose.

In closing, Driskel has potential to work with. And the 49ers need to see what he can do with the first team. I’m not saying he needs to start in the regular season by any means. However, there is no better time than now to evaluate what he can do.

The 49ers have nothing to lose and everything to gain in starting Driskel for Week 2 of the preseason.

Let the kid play.


All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of CBSsports.com and ESPN.com unless otherwise indicated.