Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN can see the 49ers replacing Jimmy Garoppolo with an athletic draft pick or Sam Darnold

Nov 9, 2020 at 6:24 AM--

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo may remain with the San Francisco 49ers in 2021. It also wouldn't shock many people in the media if head coach Kyle Shanahan decided to look at his options.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler can see that happening. He can envision Shanahan taking a long look at his options in next year's draft and replacing his quarterback with a young athletic one.

"Well, this is projecting a bit because the 49ers do like Jimmy G," Fowler recently said on SportsCenter. "There is a good chance he could be back next year, certainly.

"But if they feel that the injuries are just too much to handle and they need to move on, I've talked to many coaches and coordinators around the league who believe Kyle Shanahan, one of the brilliant offensive minds in the game, should go all out on a young, athletic QB instead of going the veteran route, trading for a Kirk Cousins or a Matt Ryan.

"Go exciting and amplify that running game with a guy who can get out wide and get weird in the NFC West and go win it. So, a lot of names out there. They could go the draft-pick route."

Fowler is also among those who believe Sam Darnold may be a good fit for Shanahan's offense and sees the New York Jets quarterback as an option.

"They could also go the Sam Darnold route if he is available," Fowler continued. "Now, I'm told the Jets really believed in him and believe he's got massive tools and potential to get it done in the future. That's why they did not put him on the trading block.

"But if they get that No. 1 pick and they believe Trevor Lawrence is a can't-miss prospect, which many people around the league believe the Jets will feel that way in the end, they could hold onto Darnold until late April, around draft time, take Lawrence, and then move Darnold. He has that throw-on-the-run ability and some of that athleticism that could be attractive to the 49ers."

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