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PFF ranks 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo No. 18 among starting quarterbacks

Aug 19, 2019 at 9:03 AM--

In July, ESPN ranked San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as a Tier-3 signal-caller. That might be understandable since a lot was to be learned about him last year, but that sample size was cut short by injury. The media conglomerate ranked Garoppolo No. 19 among NFL quarterbacks.

Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranks Garoppolo in the same range. The 49ers signal-caller came in at No. 18 in the latest NFL starting quarterback rankings for 2019 by the analytics site. PFF's ranking is based on every snap throughout each quarterback's career, which is used to project future performance.

Palazzolo writes:

"We go beyond just last season's performances, and the grading works to isolate each quarterback's performance from that of his supporting cast, making for more effective projections."

The ranking is also broken up into four tiers with just three quarterbacks — Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Patrick Mahomes — falling into Tier 1. As it did with ESPN, Garoppolo's No. 18 ranking places him within Tier 3 near quarterbacks like Dak Prescott and Derek Carr.

Tier 3, according to PFF, contains quarterbacks whose production will rely heavily on a supporting cast and play calling. Garoppolo has weapons this season with a Pro Bowl target in tight end George Kittle and a young but potentially talented group of receivers. Garoppolo also has a deep group of running backs behind him and the same starting offensive line (assuming Weston Richburg is ready for Week 1) in front of him.

Here is what Palazzolo wrote about Garoppolo's ranking:

"While Garoppolo has looked like a top-half-of-the-league quarterback when on the field the last two years, his lack of availability has been a concern. At his best, his quick release and accuracy lead to some of the league's best play in the short and intermediate range, though the downfield passing game has been a work in progress. Garoppolo takes care of the football with one of the lowest turnover-worthy play percentages in the league, despite some interception luck during his strong 2017 run in San Francisco. Garoppolo is in a good position to produce as Kyle Shanahan's system has consistently elevated quarterback play, it's just a matter of staying healthy and putting together a full season of action."

The 49ers will play the Denver Broncos on Monday night in an exhibition game and Garoppolo will take the football field for the first time since his season-ending ACL injury last September.

Where do other NFC West quarterbacks fall within the ranking? Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks came in at No. 6 and within Tier 2. Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams ranked No. 13, which fell into Tier 3. Rookie Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals topped Tier 4 at No. 23.

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