Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but Fooch is a crazy person who manages this blog with no rhyme or reason and it's worked so far. Who am I to argue?
The San Francisco 49ers head into July with three full-time quarterbacks on the roster, plus Blake Bell, converted from quarterback to tight end. Colin Kaepernick is the unquestioned starter, and it would seem like Blaine Gabbert is all but assured the backup role. That leaves undrafted free agent signee Dylan Thompson competing for whatever scraps he can get.
The 49ers signed the South Carolina quarterback shortly after the 2015 NFL Draft. Thompson spent five years at South Carolina. He redshirted his first year. His redshirt freshman year he appeared in four games. Connor Shaw was the team's starting quarterback, with Stephen Garcia getting a healthy number of reps behind Shaw. Thompson's redshirt sophomore and junior seasons saw him emerge as the No. 2 quarterback behind Shaw. In 2012, Thompson appeared in 11 games, starting two, and was 66 of 127 for 1,027 yards, with ten touchdowns and 2 interceptions. In 2013, Thompson appeared in ten games, starting one, and was 52 of 89 for 783 yards, with four touchdowns and three interceptions.
Thompson finally emerged as the starting quarterback his final season with the Gamecocks. He completed 270 of 451 passes for a South Carolina record 3,574 yards, with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He led the SEC in passing yards, was third in touchdowns and was seventh in passer rating.
I've posted some scouting reports below. Footwork appears to be his biggest problem, and that has led to some issues with accuracy. Considering he only started one season at South Carolina, development is the name of the game with Thompson.
What to expect in 2015:
He seems like a possible practice squad candidate. If the 49ers do not add another quarterback, we will see a lot of Thompson in the preseason. Even if Blake Bell gets some preseason reps as the fourth quarterback, Thompson will likely end up with the most reps among the team's current group of quarterbacks. This will give the team a good idea of where he stands right now, and what needs to be worked on moving forward.
Odds of making the roster:
I suppose he could shock us with a quick development that gets him on the 53-man roster, but I think the odds are strong we see him on the practice squad this year. That will give him a year to learn the 49ers playbook and work on his own technique to some extent. The practice squad is frequently there to serve as a scout team each week, but it would keep Thompson around with the quarterbacks to learn from Steve Logan.