ESPN writer Matt Bowen recently ranked the new group of NFL quarterbacks to build around. Included within the list were rookie quarterbacks who started during the 2017 season and veterans, like 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who took advantage of their opportunity to start. Also included were young players like Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams and Jacoby Brissett of the Indianapolis Colts who proved themselves in their sophomore seasons.

Where did Garoppolo, who the 49ers acquired via a trade with the New England Patriots on October 30, rank among the group? Bowen had him at second, which was right behind his top-ranked new starting quarterback -- Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans.

Garoppolo completed 120 of his 178 pass attempts for an impressive 67.4 completion percentage with the 49ers this season. He threw for 1,560 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions in six game appearances and five starts.

Bowen had the following to say about what he saw out of Garoppolo in 2017:

"Yes, it's still a small sample size, but there is no question about Garoppolo's ability to attack tight windows, manipulate defenders with his eyes or make stick throws on the move. His tape passes the test. And I expect him to be better with more time learning Shanahan's concepts."

Bowen feels that Garoppolo and head coach Kyle Shanahan are a perfect fit. While the quarterback was forced to take a crash course in Shanahan's complicated offense, once he took the field, he showed the ability to take total command of the offense. His poise showed during each of his five starts -- each wins -- with the 49ers to close out the season. The ESPN writer loves Garoppolo's quick release, ball placement, and mobility.

Bowen added the following on why 49ers fans should be excited heading into the 2018 season:

"With Shanahan's playcalling, and Garoppolo's advanced skill set to dice up coverages, the expectations should be sky-high in San Francisco. It's why 49ers fans are pumped heading into 2018."