The San Francisco 49ers lost their third exhibition of the preseason 19-12 to the Denver Broncos. They had their starting offense and defense play the entire first half, giving plenty of evaluation for some players. Proven starters including NaVorro Bowman will not be listed, but a few stood out for the right aHere is who improved and decreased their stock from the game:
QB Blaine Gabbert: Gabbert was considered to be one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL when he left Jacksonville. He had a decent game, completing nine out of 11 passes and one of the incompletions was a bullet on-target. Gabbert was expected to be the backup and a game like this secures his job behind Colin Kaepernick.
CB Kenneth Acker: With Tramaine Brock out, Acker was given a longer look with a start in the secondary. Not only did he have an interception with great coverage, but he also broke up a pass in a tight red zone situation. He looks like a keeper for press coverage and could be a starter if the 49ers like him over Shareece Wright. His only mistake was that awkward tossing of the ball when he wasn’t down by contact yet on the interception, but he will learn from it.
TE Rory “Busta” Anderson: Anderson is a long shot to make the team, but he was a good blocker against the Broncos in the second half. He has potential to be a receiving TE and his activity was promising on Saturday night.
K Corey Acosta: Acosta won’t make the 49ers 53-man roster, but three field goals including a 50-yard kick will at least give other teams a look. He will not be on a roster in Week 1, but if another team wants to upgrade from a kicker who is struggling in the middle of the year, Acosta at minimum will get a tryout. Phil Dawson’s contract ends after this year, so he could be name to remember for 2016.
RG Ian Silberman: He is a rookie, but the Broncos’ defense ate him alive and gave Kaepernick no time. The 49ers said the competition at OL is still open and right now it appears no one is pulling away.
RT Erik Pears: Pears committed a holding penalty and was lost against DeMarcus Ware on the safety sack. It was a horrid game for the right side of the 49ers’ offensive line.
Center position: Marcus Martin and Joe Looney: Both players were flawed on the interior and Looney was responsible for a bad snap. The run blocking was fine, but Kaepernick was forced to run away and couldn’t complete a pass until the end of the second quarter.
RB Kendall Hunter: After recovering from a torn ACL, he looked like he would be ready for a comeback season. Unfortunately, Mike Davis and Reggie Bush look to be an upgrade on the depth chart. Hunter could be one of the final roster cuts if they like Hayne over him as the last running back.