After the San Diego Chargers placed undrafted rookie quarterback Scott Tolzien on waivers, the 49ers were quick to claim him. This past Thursday, San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh had a firsthand look at what Tolzien could do as a pro.
In Thursday's matchup between San Francisco and San Diego, Tolzien was 4 for 5, with 61 yards by halftime. He has revealed himself to be a pure pocket passer who can deliver the ball under pressure. The 49ers pass rush that night was on their game, constantly putting hits on Tolzien and even registering multiple sacks.
Regardless of the heat, Tolzien was showing that he could make all the throws. He was making screen passes, quick routes and showed his uncanny ability to already make accurate deep throws. Not only was he connecting with the receiver in stride, but the ball location couldn't have been better if Phillip Rivers threw it himself.
Tolzien leads his receivers well, most impressively in the plays stretching the field. He was running San Diego's pass heavy offense extremely well, making Seyi Ajirotutu look like Vincent Jackson. He has a lot of positive qualities already for a rookie that wasn't even drafted.
His best attributes are his ability to deliever the ball under pressure, make accurate deep throws and the fact that he is a pure pocket passer. He has a long way to go if he is to become anything in the NFL, but for now, he is an improvement over Josh McCown or McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
This preseason, he finished 25 for 40, 302 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. The reason San Francisco claimed him is because he looks to be more pro ready than Colin Kaepernick and Tolzien is a low risk, high reward situation. Kaepernick has way more upside than Tolzien, but the 49ers are proving that they are going to create competition.
By adding Tolzien, San Francisco is showing that they are trying to get better at every position. Tolzien shouldn't push Alex Smith for any starting time, but if he stays on the roster, he could prove to be a reliable backup for now while Harbaugh grooms Kaepernick for the future.
I just hope the Wisconsin product knows he can't wear #16 anymore.
Follow me on Twitter: @DeSimone80