Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo could pass for 4,000 yards, 49ers receivers will improve as the year progresses, says Cosell

Sep 5, 2019 at 8:30 AM--

NFL Media's analytics expert, Cynthia Frelund, believes Jimmy Garoppolo will throw for over 4,100 yards this season. Dr. Roto, the senior fantasy sports expert with Full-Time Fantasy, also believes the San Francisco 49ers quarterback will throw for over 4,000 yards.

Add NFL Films producer and ESPN analyst Greg Cosell to the list of experts who believe Garoppolo is in store for a big season — assuming he can stay healthy for 16 games.

"I think if he plays 16 games, he'll get 4,000 yards because I think the nature of Kyle's (Shanahan) offense will produce that," Cosell said Wednesday during a conversation on the "Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks" show on KNBR.

That would be significant for the 49ers, who have been without a 4,000-yard passer since 2000 when Jeff Garcia threw for 4,278 yards.

One of the many questions surrounding this year's squad is how many of those projected yards by Garoppolo will be hauled in by Dante Pettis. While the second-year player has had an inconsistent offseason, to say the least, Cosell likes what he has seen out of the wide receiver.

"I think the wide receiver position will play out as the year progresses because I love their young guys," Cosell said. "... I really like Dante Pettis. I went back and looked at him this summer from his targets last year. I think he has natural route quickness and separation quickness, and I think he'll improve."

Cosell doesn't believe the 49ers wideouts will be immediately productive right out of the gate but that Pettis and the group will improve as the season continues. It is a work in progress, which makes sense considering the youth at the position. Just one player, Marquise Goodwin, has more than two years of NFL experience.

Despite the inexperience, Cosell likes the potential.

"I really liked both Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd coming out of college," Cosell added. "I know Hurd's hurt and may not even be active Week 1, but I think as the season progresses, you'll see improvement from those players, and that the wide receiver position will become a solid position. I don't expect that to be the case Week 1."

Hurd is dealing with a back injury and could miss multiple games to start the season. Third-year wideout Trent Taylor is recovering from foot surgery on August 9. Other than that, the 49ers enter Week 1 relatively healthy and with five receivers — Goodwin, Pettis, Samuel, Richie James, and Kendrick Bourne — ready for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Cosell and his breakdown of the 49ers roster below.

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