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Blake Bell makes the most sense as 49ers third quarterback

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The San Francisco 49ers have three full-time quarterbacks on their roster, but could they simply use one of their tight ends as the emergency quarterback this year?

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The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their offseason workout program with three true quarterbacks on the roster: Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert and Dylan Thompson. However, as we know, the team has a quarterback converted to tight end in fourth round pick Blake Bell. The Oklahoma product started his college career as a quarterback, but switched to tight end prior to his senior season when the Sooners went with a freshman at quarterback. 49ers.com put together a feature on Bell, discussing that transition. It's worth a read.

Bell will get plenty of work with the 49ers learning the tight end role, but he could provide an option to a roster that will have some tough decisions to make. Kap and Gabbert will be the starting and backup quarterback. Thompson will get plenty of chances to prove he is worthy of a third QB role, but the numbers game is not in his favor.

Enter Blake Bell.

Bell has focused on tight end for the last year, but given the potential roster crunch, he could also serve as the team's emergency quarterback. He is no longer a traditional quarterback, but he would be plenty qualified for the role. Teams have used a variety of non-traditional quarterbacks in the emergency role. Punter Tom Tupa was frequently an emergency quarterback during his career. I specifically recall him serving in that role when Drew Bledsoe was the New England Patriots starting quarterback.

Yesterday, A Manimal brought up the notion of the 49ers not adding a fourth quarterback, and potentially keeping him as a secret weapon. I don't think they would give him no snaps in preseason play, but I don't think they give him a whole ton of snaps. Bell would be almost assuredly making the roster simply as a tight end, so why not take advantage of his skills and use him as that emergency quarterback? It makes learning the tight end role a little more difficult due to also needing a basic knowledge of the quarterback position. The good news is having that broader knowledge could actually help him develop as a tight end.

It is also worth noting that , if the 49ers were in a position where they needed to use their third quarterback in the regular season, we know things have gotten really bad really quick.