Former Mizzou football quarterback Blaine Gabbert hasn’t had the easiest time in the NFL, but he should very well be the starter for the San Francisco 49ers come opening weekend.
Many thought that Blaine Gabbert was a bust after crashing and burning in Jacksonville after only surviving for three seasons with the Jaguars. He was traded to San Francisco before the 2014 season began and saw ample starting time in 2015.
Gabbert started half of the games in 2015, tossing for over 2,000 yards with ten touchdowns and seven interceptions. His most memorable moment came during the Bears when he rushed 70 some yards for the winning touchdown.
Gabbert showed that maybe that first-round pick the Jags used on Gabbert (and traded up to get, mind you) might not have been entirely crazy. Sure, the Niners went nowhere last season, but Gabbert at least made it interesting.
The former Mizzou quarterback made things interesting enough that he might have officially stolen the starting spot from Colin Kaepernick, who the Niners spent a second rounder on in the 2011 NFL Draft (the same year that Gabbert went to Jacksonville in round one).
San Francisco 49ers blogger Kevin Jones tweeted out that Kaepernick hadn’t thrown a pass in six days for the team, which is proving even more so that Blaine could be the guy in San Francisco.
Jared Dubin of CBS Sports touched on this topic a little more, stating,
"That’s not to say Gabbert has done anything to distinguish himself, not in his career as a whole, his work last season for the 49ers, or in the first preseason game. He’s certainly a lower-ceiling option than Kaepernick, who at one time flashed top-10 quarterback potential. You can’t even really say he has a higher floor, given how dreadful he was for a portion of his time with the Jaguars."
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Well, okay, then.
The only other option for the Niners outside of Gabbert and Kaepernick is another 2011 draft bust in Christian Ponder (who went in the first round that year to Minnesota). Ponder likely has no shot at winning the job, but hey… I thought Gabbert was done after 2013, so you just never know.
Despite the quarterback controversy in San Francisco, it’s been impressive that Gabbert has continued to be relevant in the NFL. When the Jaguars traded up to take him five years ago, many thought it was a stretch. He showed quickly why people thought that, and the Jags trading him after only three years sort of stamped that bust label all over him.
Now, however, Gabbert has emerged as the favorite to start for the 49ers, something that no one would have predicted this time last year.