Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo among Colin Cowherd’s top young quarterbacks ... but with concerns

Jul 14, 2018 at 7:47 AM--

Colin Cowherd of The Herd on FOX Sports 1 recently named his top five young quarterbacks in the NFL. On the list is San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. In fact, Cowherd only has Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles listed higher than the Niners' signal caller.

Below are Cowherd's best young quarterbacks in the NFL.

  1. Carson Wentz, Eagles
  2. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
  3. Deshaun Watson, Texans
  4. Dak Prescott, Cowboys
  5. Sam Darnold, Jets

While Cowherd believes the five names above are the future of the NFL for the next decade, he has concerns about each. Most of the concerns for those in his top three centers around injuries.

"Jimmy Garoppolo has already had an injury," Cowherd explained. "The Niners' offensive line is awful. They don't have a running game, so they're going to ask him to throw 34 times a game because Kyle Shanahan likes to sling it. I'm worried.

"That division -- have you seen the Rams' defensive front? Aaron Donald could make a small sandwich out of him. Now they have Ndamukong Suh. I'm worried that he's going to play the Rams two times a year the next couple of years and get mushed. I worry about it.

"He's got an injury. He likes to move out of the pocket, and their offensive line isn't good. And that offensive staff wants to sling it 35 times a game. I'm worried."

That's a lot of worrying.

The injury that Cowherd is referring to is the sprained AC joint suffered during Week 2 of the 2016 season while in New England. Garoppolo is nearly two years removed from that injury, and it didn't seem to bother him last season while playing behind the "awful" 49ers offensive line.

Pro Football Focus recently ranked the 49ers offensive line at No. 16 in the NFL. Of course, much of that had to do with the two guard spots. The analytics site feels that their two projected starters, left guard Laken Tomlinson and right guard Joshua Garnett, will have to reach their first-round potential for the offensive line to outplay its current ranking.

The 49ers did add Weston Richburg at center and drafted Mike McGlinchey to anchor the right side. The team also added running back Jerick McKinnon who many feel is the perfect type of versatile player for head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. He finished 2017 as Pro Football Focus' eighth-highest graded running back (84.6) and recorded 39 missed tackles on his 201 total touches.

Behind McKinnon is Matt Breida, who rushed for 465 yards last season while averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Of the NFL running backs with more than 100 carries last season, only eight had a better average.

As for Garoppolo throwing the football 35 times a game, that is what he averaged last season in his five starts with Shanahan calling the plays. Both Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard averaged more pass attempts per game.

You can watch the entire segment with Cowherd below.

H/t to Patrick Tulini for the find.

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