Chris Simms of NBC Sports had a hot-take last week, calling San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a dark-horse candidate for the NFL's Most Valuable Player award. Some criticized the comments because Garoppolo has yet even to play a full season's worth of games. He's started just 10 games during his five-year pro career.

Assuming he is fully recovered from the torn ACL suffered last September, Garoppolo will be the 49ers' Week 1 starter when the team takes on the Buccaneers in Tampa, Florida. The quarterback remains a question mark not just because of the injury, but because he still doesn't have a great deal of experience.

While head coach Kyle Shanahan can't be entirely confident yet what he has in Garoppolo, the 49ers committed to the quarterback when they signed him to a then-record five-year deal after the 2017 season. The team, however, does have an out on the contract after 2019 should Garoppolo stumble through the season and prove he is not the long-term answer at quarterback.

Matt Barrows of The Athletic joined KNBR on Thursday and indicated that he doesn't believe the MVP talk is as far-fetched as some have made it out to be.

"I think there's logic there," Barrows said. "And it's not just Garoppolo; it's his head coach and offensive coordinator. It's Kyle Shanahan. Matt Ryan, in year two of the Shanahan system, had an MVP-like season. He had his best season in the NFL, and took his team to the Super Bowl, and, obviously, should have won the Super Bowl that year. You can blame that on Shanahan too, perhaps.

"The point being, if you're a good passer in that Shanahan system, and you've got some good weapons around you, it's absolutely possible, for sure."

Barrows does question a couple of things that could derail any potential MVP-like campaign. Garoppolo only played eight games within Shanahan's system before an injury derailed his and the 49ers' 2018 season.

"Is it year two, or somewhere in year one still, really, from a practical standpoint?" Barrows asks.

The other concern is the weapons around Garoppolo. Barrows believes the running backs are a strength and could even be better than what Shanahan had in Atlanta. The wide receiver position, however, remains a big question mark. The 49ers feel they upgraded the position this offseason by adding rookies Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd to join veteran Marquise Goodwin and second-year wideout Dante Pettis.

"I think the talent at wide receiver is better than Shanahan has ever had it," Barrows continues. "It's just very young talent, and it's unproven talent."

While Barrows believes the 49ers could be a formidable opponent this year, he feels next year might be more realistic when discussing an MVP-like season out of Garoppolo.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Barrows below. It begins at about the 20:20 mark.