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Colin Cowherd questions why experts undervalue Jimmy Garoppolo

Jul 29, 2020 at 1:00 PM--

One play could have flipped the narrative for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. You know which play it is. One missed opportunity to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders could have changed everybody's perceptions. Garoppolo may have even ended up being the Super Bowl LIV MVP.

It's incredible what a difference a play can make.

Two separate quarterback rankings, one by Pro Football Focus and the other by The Athletic, named Garoppolo as a Tier-3 passer. FS1 personality Colin Cowherd feels that is too low, and made his case this week on why the 49ers quarterback is better than most credit him (h/t to Patrick Tulini).

"Jimmy Garoppolo is in Tier 3, along with Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles, Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray," Cowherd said of Mike Sando's list on The Athletic. "Now, come on. Kirk Cousins? Come on."

The host of The Herd went on to share some of Garoppolo's stats from 2019 — his first full season as a starter and coming off an ACL injury. They are below.

Garoppolo NFL Rank
Wins 13 T-1st
Comp Pct 69.1 T-4th
Pass TD 27 T-5th
4th-Qtr Comebacks 4 T-1st
Game-winning Drives 4 T-4th
Passer Rtg 102.0 8th

Cowherd pointed out that some might argue that Garoppolo has Kyle Shanahan, one of the best minds in football, designing plays for him.

"(Drew) Brees has Sean Payton," Cowherd rebutted. "(Tom) Brady had (Bill) Belichick. (Dan) Marino had Don Shula. Jimmy Johnson and Troy Aikman. Dan Fouts was great. He had [Don] Coryell. Joe Montana had Bill Walsh. Find me the single Hall-of-Fame-level quarterback who had lousy coaches."

Cowherd points to other quarterbacks playing today, like Patrick Mahomes having Andy Reid and Russell Wilson having Pete Carroll.

"Why do people not get Jimmy Garoppolo?" Cowherd asked. "My guess is two things."

He notes that the 49ers defense gets the headlines as reason number one. The second is that Garoppolo doesn't have some of the traits that experts see in the more exciting quarterbacks in the league.

"He's not as big and strong as Cam (Newton) or Big Ben," Cowherd said. "He doesn't have Mahomes' arm or Aaron Rodgers' release or the escapability of Lamar Jackson or Russell Wilson or Carson Wentz. There's nothing to grab on to. There's nothing to say, 'Look at that!'"

Cowherd also believes that Garoppolo outplayed Mahomes during the first three quarters of Super Bowl LIV.

"Garoppolo may not be a Tier 1, but he's mid to upper Tier 2," Cowherd added. "And there's no way he's middle of Tier 3."

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