Mike Sando of ESPN recently gathered the votes from a panel of 50 league insiders, which included 10 general managers, five head coaches, 10 coordinators, 10 senior personnel executives, five QB coaches, and 10 others with prominent roles on NFL teams. The task at hand was to rank the league's quarterbacks within tiers ranging from one to four.

The only two NFL signal-callers to receive unanimous votes as Tier 1 quarterbacks were Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, who tied for the No. 1 spot on the list. The two other quarterbacks within that elite tier were Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The quarterbacks in the top tier can carry their respective teams regardless of the talent around them. Tier 2 is reserved for quarterbacks who are capable of carrying their teams but don't necessarily do so as consistently as those in Tier 1.

"[A Tier 2 quarterback] can handle pure passing situations in doses and/or possesses other dimensions that are special enough to elevate him above Tier 3," writes Sando. "He has a hole or two in his game."

Tier 2 is where San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo landed after receiving the No 13 ranking among those on the list. The ranking sandwiches him between Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders and Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans.

"He won a bunch of throwaway games," said one former general manager who felt Garoppolo actually belonged in Tier 3. "But I do like his fit for that offense. You've gotta be smart, you've gotta be a good ball handler, you've gotta be able to throw on the run. Garoppolo has all those things, so I think he is going to do well."

Just one of the 50 voters placed Garoppolo into Tier 1. That anonymous panel member felt the 49ers quarterback did a lot of things better than those who received his Tier 2 votes. Of course, much of the decision to place him among the game's elite was based on potential.

"Throw in a full offseason with Kyle Shanahan and I'm comfortable saying Tier 1," said the voter.

So what could be the hole or two in Garoppolo's game that kept him from receiving more Tier 1 votes? Aside from his limited number of starts, which probably contributed significantly to his lower ranking, many question his accuracy with the deep ball. Garoppolo completed just 4-of-16 pass attempts with an adjusted passer rating of 62.0 on throws of 20-or-more yards, according to Pro Football Focus. During two starts in 2016, Garoppolo completed 4-of-8 attempts at the same distance.