The approach of training camp means NFL analysts are lining up their many bold predictions. I’m pretty sure most will be forgotten next February after Super Bowl 51 comes to a close, but we might as well at least mark them down. The latest comes from NFL.com analyst Elliott Harrison. He put together one bold prediction for each team, and it is no surprise his prediction for the San Francisco 49ers looked at the quarterback position:
Are we all merely waiting for the real Colin Kaepernick to emerge and send us on a time warp to the 2012 playoffs, when Clay Matthews was futilely chasing the Niners QB as he ran a bazillion yards to the end zone? It doesn't look like it's happening. What if Kaepernick's abilities aren't perfect for Chip Kelly, Gabbert really is the better overall player and ends up starting the whole season, and the 49ers don't finish last? It's looking more and more like that vision will become reality.
I don’t think it would be entirely shocking if Blaine Gabbert starts for the whole season. It’s certainly not a lock, but the quarterback situation is such a big question mark, that almost any result would not be entirely shocking. Jeff Driskel or Thad Lewis winning the job would be up there on the unexpected results, but for the most part, I am keeping myself open to just about anything coming out of this situation.
Gabbert would seem to have the early edge in the competition since he got so much more on-field work than Colin Kaepernick in the offseason workout program. That being said, if Kaepernick is fully cleared for the start of training camp, the on-field competition gets a lot more interesting really quickly. But for now, expectations are broad.