The Niner Faithful got a limited look at the San Francisco 49ers' true potential under head coach Kyle Shanahan in 2017. After sitting through Brian Hoyer's six straight losses to start the season and then a 1-4 effort by rookie C.J. Beathard, fans finally got a look at Jimmy Garoppolo. The new 49ers quarterback instantly turned the team around with five straight victories to end the season.

When you consider the quality of the opponents Garoppolo went up against during that run, the feat is even more impressive. Garoppolo's first two starts came against the Chicago Bears and the Houston Texans. But after that, he led the 49ers in wins over the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Los Angeles Rams – all of which were playoff-bound.

In his five starts, Garoppolo completed 67-percent of his passes for 1,542 yards, six touchdowns, and five interceptions. If you use those numbers to extrapolate what he could have done through 16 games, you get the following: 4,934 yards and 19 touchdowns. Of course, it also adds up to 16 interceptions, which is an area Garoppolo can hopefully improve upon with a little more talent placed around him.

Garoppolo now has seven career NFL starts under his belt. We'll get our first full-season look at him in 2018. Before then, the 49ers will need to secure him for next season, and hopefully, beyond. While general manager John Lynch and the 49ers work on a long-term deal for Garoppolo, the team has the franchise tag at its disposal which will keep the quarterback in San Francisco for another season.

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This week, NFL1000 quarterbacks scout Mark Schofield ranked the NFL's top quarterbacks of 2017 in a feature for Bleacher Report. The ranking is based on accuracy, arm talent, ability while under pressure, decision-making skills, and position value.

While Garoppolo came in ranked at No. 13, Schofield noted that he spent December "looking like the best signal-caller in the league." The red-hot 49ers were the only NFL team that went undefeated during the final month of the season.

Schofield wrote the following about Garoppolo:

"After a few down seasons, the San Francisco 49ers have hope again, and it arrived in the form of Jimmy Garoppolo. He stepped into the starting lineup and won his first two starts with confidence, poise and toughness in the pocket and an ability to make high-velocity throws under duress. If the Niners can work out an extension with Garoppolo and add a few more offensive pieces, they might be a team to look out for in 2018."

While fans might be a bit insulted by Garoppolo's ranking within the list, again, it is important to note that he started just five games. Plus, the names listed above him are some pretty good ones. Below are the 12 quarterbacks ranked higher than Garoppolo.

  1. Tom Brady, Patriots
  2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
  3. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
  4. Drew Brees, Saints
  5. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
  6. Matthew Stafford, Lions
  7. Carson Wentz, Eagles
  8. Cam Newton, Panthers
  9. Jared Goff, Rams
  10. Case Keenum, Vikings
  11. Matt Ryan, Falcons
  12. Kirk Cousins, Redskins