It's the offseason, which means countless rankings by media outlets. While I try not to overwhelm you too much with these often unnecessary fillers during the NFL's downtime, columnist Adam Schein of NFL.com took an interesting approach in his latest one.

Schein ranked each division in the NFL by its starting quarterbacks and based on the projections for the signal-callers in 2019. How did the NFC West do? For the second-straight year, the San Francisco 49ers' division came in at No. 2 within the ranking.

A lot of the 49ers' potential success in 2019 is riding on the shoulders of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who has started just 10 games — five with San Francisco — over his career. Like last year, his potential gave the NFC West a boost in Schein's ranking.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is undoubtedly the benchmark for the division, which came close to ranking No. 1 overall. That honor belongs to the AFC West, which added Joe Flacco to a division that already had Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers, and Derek Carr.

In addition to Wilson and Garoppolo, the NFC West also boasts Jared Goff and newcomer Kyler Murray.

Here is what Schein wrote about Garoppolo:

"I'm still drinking the Jimmy G Kool-Aid, especially with offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan calling the shots. If Garoppolo, coming off the ACL tear that ended his 2018 season in Week 3, is healthy, the Niners are going to surprise a lot of people. Good news: The health reports on his knee coming out of OTAs this week were positive."

This week was Garoppolo's first on the Santa Clara practice field with his teammates. He has and will continue to participate in everything except 11-on-11 drills during organized team activities. As for the positive reports coming out of OTAs, several 49ers players have been impressed with their quarterback's progress from the season-ending injury suffered in late-September.

"Jimmy was threading it (during practice)," cornerback Richard Sherman said on Tuesday. "He got the ball right where he wanted to. Obviously, he's been limited in the things that he can do, but today he had a lot of reps, and he looked really good.

"He was putting the ball in some risky spots, where it seemed risky. It was real confident throws. He completed every single one of them. It just shows where he's at in his progress, and what he's been able to do, and how hard he's been working."


Second-year tackle Mike McGlinchey told reporters that the team has a lot of confidence in Garoppolo.

"Obviously, having Jimmy back there is huge for us," McGlinchey said. "He's the leader of our football team. He's the face of our franchise. We believe he's as good as anybody in the league, and he's going to get a chance to show that."

Garoppolo is happy to be back on the practice field and getting some work against defenders in one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills. He still has a ways to go before he is medically cleared to be a full practice participant, but Garoppolo believes he can make all the throws asked of him now.

"The downfield throws, I'm able to make those finally and everything," Garoppolo said. "Just about every throw is doable now."

H/t to Patrick Tulini for the find.