After choosing to transfer to Louisiana Tech during his final year of college football eligibility, a final push on his quest to land in the NFL, Jeff Driskel is now on the San Francisco 49ers roster and the rookie quarterback is looking to stay there. He was selected by the 49ers in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft and finds himself competing for a roster spot behind potential starters Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick.
Driskel has jumped into the fast tempo Chip Kelly offense that the 49ers are installing. "I think he's done a really nice job. He's really intelligent. Picked things up conceptually very quickly," said Kelly on Thursday prior to the team's final practice of a three-day mandatory minicamp. "He's very athletic. I think he was the fastest quarterback at the combine. He's big. He's got a good arm."
Kelly also pointed out that Driskel was exposed to a couple of systems in college (Florida and Louisiana Tech), which is something that a lot of players don't get. The coaching staff has been impressed with Driskel. "He's really smart. Very, very good football IQ. He processes it really well," said Kelly of his rookie quarterback.
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During organized team activities, Driskel was just anxious to get reps. They didn't even have to be at the quarterback position as he was seen taking part in special teams drills. That was obviously something that Kelly and his staff took notice of. "He just wants to play football and whatever he can do to make a team, he's going to try to do it," said Kelly.
Kelly is so eager to soak in knowledge and gain experience that he skipped out on the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles last month. The event, which conflicted with organized team activities, paid about $10,000 and gave the NFL's freshman class an opportunity to make contacts for marketing deals.
Driskel is the first quarterback drafted by the 49ers since seventh-round selection B.J. Daniels in 2013. He spent time with Florida from 2011 through 2014. He played for Louisiana Tech in 2015 where he completed 62.3-percent of his passes for 4,026 yards, 27 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a rating of 154.1 in 13 games. Kelly values accuracy and Driskel had that during his one year at Louisiana Tech.
"I look forward to competing with whoever is in the meeting room with me," Driskel told the media when asked about the 49ers' quarterback situation following his draft selection.