49ers roster turnover: Has the quarterback position improved?

Doug Pensinger

The 49ers are settled at their starting QB position, but they could have a new second AND third string QB in 2013. With the changes, are the 49ers better, worse or the same compared to the end of last season?

The 49ers rookies report to training camp on Friday, with veterans following them later next week. We're continuing our countdown to training camp with a series of articles titled "49ers roster turnover." I'm going through the various position groups and considering how the roster has changed over the last 12 months. We'll take a look at the team's depth chart heading into the first preseason game last year, prior to Week 1 of the regular season, the Super Bowl and then how it currently stands. Four depth charts give us an idea of how the roster developed over the course of the year.

Today, we take a look at what was previously the most contentious position on the team: quarterback. Wide receiver and cornerback have both surpassed quarterback, thanks in part to Colin Kaepernick locking down the job, but the depth is still worth considering behind Kap. Here is a look at the how the depth chart has shaken out over the last 12 months.

Preseason 2012 depth chart

QB: Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Josh Johnson, Scott Tolzien

Week 1 depth chart

QB: Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Scott Tolzien

Super Bowl depth chart

QB: Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith, Scott Tolzien

Current depth chart

QB: Colin Kaepernick, Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien, B.J. Daniels

In assessing the poll question below, remember that we're talking about how the quarterback position compares from the Super Bowl to now. In that sense, you could make a very reasonable argument that it is worse, given that Alex Smith did more in the recent portion of his career than Colt McCoy. At the same time, an argument in McCoy's favor might be that it removes the potential strain of having Alex Smith on the sideline disappointed he is no longer the starting quarterback. Or maybe that just makes the same. How do you assess the backup QB position in that context?

Additionally, one has to wonder if the third QB battle will be improved with B.J. Daniels added to the mix over Josh Johnson. Although Johnson had a history with Jim Harbaugh, he simply could not do what the 49ers needed. Could Daniels be that much of an improvement? He's one guy I'm really excited to watch during the preseason.

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