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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


PFF ranks Jimmy Garoppolo as a Tier-3 quarterback

Jul 27, 2020 at 6:39 AM--


Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus went through the task of ranking every NFL quarterback based on the analytics site's extensive data over multiple years and projected future performance. He broke them into four tiers, with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leading the group in Tier 1. He is joined by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as the only two signal-callers to fall into that tier. They are the quarterbacks who Palazzolo identifies as being able to carry a team on their shoulders, no matter the supporting cast.

Tier 2 — quarterbacks who are more likely to elevate teammates and achieve top-end production, even with lesser supporting casts — is led by Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, however, falls under Tier 3 — quarterbacks who will rely even more heavily on supporting cast and playcalling. Palazzolo doesn't dismiss the possibility that these quarterbacks can post top-10 production in any given season, but it will require the right situation and supporting cast.

Others in Tier 3 include names like Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders, Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams, and Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings.

Palazzolo notes his analysis of Garoppolo from before the Super Bowl, saying the 49ers quarterback ranked near the bottom in big-time throws. He also saw an uptick in turnover-worthy plays, which put his decision-making ability into question.

"Overall, Garoppolo was one of the league's most accurate passers," Palazzolo concluded, "and his quick release and decision-making have proven to be a good fit in the Shanahan system. He is yet another mid-tier quarterback who can produce at a top-10 level in any given season, especially if he can cut back on the random poor decisions that seem to pop up once or twice in every game."

Palazzolo adds that Garoppolo's 13th-best overall Pro Football Focus grade among quarterbacks last season is a fair assessment of his abilities.

Wrote Palazzolo: "The 49ers had one of the most efficient passing games in the league in 2019; the scheme was fantastic, and Garoppolo was aided by 55.1% of his yards coming after the catch, the second-highest rate in the league."

Tier 4, by the way, includes quarterbacks with more question marks like Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, Sam Darnold of the New York Jets, and Gardner Minshew of the Jacksonville Jaguars.





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