Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Smith and Kellerman have different QB predictions for the 49ers

Feb 16, 2021 at 1:45 PM--

Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman of ESPN's First Take have different predictions on who will start at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers during the upcoming season. Kellerman often defends Jimmy Garoppolo against Smith's criticisms, so you might naturally assume that Kellerman would predict that San Francisco would avoid shaking things up. You might also assume that the critical Smith predicts that the 49ers move on from Garoppolo.

The opposite is true. Smith envisions San Francisco sticking with Garoppolo while Kellerman has another quarterback in mind to lead head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.

"Me personally, I think it's going to be Jimmy G (as the 49ers' starter)," Smith declared. "That's what I believe. I believe that everybody's been talking about these other folks. The reality of the situation is that it comes down to what Max has said on numerous occasions. When [Garoppolo is] in the lineup, the San Francisco 49ers win football games. I think they're [24-9] with Jimmy G as a starter. I think that's what we're looking at here."

Smith's prediction takes Garoppolo's career 67.5 completion percentage and teammates like tight end George Kittle and cornerback Richard Sherman expressing unwavering belief in the quarterback into account.

"They believe in this guy," Smith added. "They believe, when he's healthy, he's an incredible asset to the franchise. ... [The 49ers] believe in Jimmy G. So, why go in a different direction when they've already been to a Super Bowl with this guy? I think that's their mentality, and I think as a result of that, they hold onto him and they give him a chance to move the franchise forward."

While Garoppolo has to be the odds-on favorite to be the 49ers' starting quarterback come Week 1, Kellerman has a different name in mind. No, it's not Deshaun Watson. However, he does believe that San Francisco inquiring about other quarterbacks this offseason shows that team decision-makers are at least pondering an upgrade.

"Clearly, they think they can do better," explained Kellerman. "It's out there too often. And where I look at is Atlanta because I know they would take an enormous cap hit. I mean, they'd have to restructure something with Matt Ryan. But that team should be rebuilding, and (owner) Arthur Blank has said that Matt Ryan's going to have a voice in what happens in his future. And Shanahan is there in San Francisco, where they are loaded.

"And Jimmy G is doing a good job, but maybe they feel, like the Rams felt with (Jared) Goff, they can find someone who can do a better job. Matt Ryan, maybe not what he once was — maybe they feel he's not what he once was — but maybe Shanahan looks at Matt Ryan and says, 'No, you give me that guy on this team, we've got a defense too, we're going to be just fine. We can make a Super Bowl run.'"

More San Francisco 49ers News

Two 'bold NFL predictions' from The Athletic involve the 49ers

By David Bonilla
Feb 15, 2021

Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic made 10 bold NFL predictions for this offseason, and two of them involved the San Francisco 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo has to be the odds-on favorite to be the team's starting quarterback in 2021, but fans and the media continue to keep an eye on what's happening in Houston with Deshaun Watson. After all, if anything can tempt Kyle Shanahan to move on from Garoppolo, it might be the thought of adding an exciting playmaker like Watson to his offense. Kapadia admits that several things could happen in Houston that keep Watson from being traded. Maybe the two sides reconcile and move forward. Maybe the star quarterback decides to push

ESPN: It would take the 'Deshaun Watson effect' for the 49ers to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo

By David Bonilla
Feb 14, 2021

Jimmy Garoppolo is the most likely candidate to be San Francisco's starting quarterback in 2021, and it sounds like that's fine by the 49ers. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler recently reported that the Niners are among the teams that Deshaun Watson is "intrigued by." The quarterback wants out of Houston, but the Texans have no desire to trade him and are still hoping to reconcile their differences. Fowler added on SportsCenter this weekend that it would take a monumental opportunity, like adding Watson, for the 49ers to even consider moving on from Garoppolo. "I'm told San Fran is looking at potential upgrades, but they still like Jimmy G," Fowler said via

ESPN names two 49ers as 'sneaky-good' free agents, predicts landing spots for Deshaun Watson

By David Bonilla
Feb 17, 2021

ESPN's NFL experts answered some offseason-related questions, including identifying some "sneaky-good" free agents and predicting a destination for disgruntled Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Two San Francisco 49ers impending free agents were labeled as "sneaky-good" players that NFL teams should covet once the bidding wars kick off next month. That is assuming neither is re-signed before then. Matt Bowen named defensive end Kerry Hyder, who racked up a career-high sack total last season, his first with San Francisco. "Hyder has traits as an edge rusher off

ESPN predicts Jimmy Garoppolo as the 49ers' starting QB in 2021

By David Bonilla
Feb 18, 2021

ESPN offered a vote of confidence in Jimmy Garoppolo as the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback in 2021 — sort of. Insider Field Yates predicted the starting quarterback for each NFL team. Some changes include Deshaun Watson for the Carolina Panthers, Carson Wentz for the Indianapolis Colts, Sam Darnold for the Chicago Bears, and Marcus Mariota for the New England Patriots. Of course, you also have rookies on the list. Yates has Trevor Lawrence with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Justin Fields with the Houston Texans, and Zack Wilson with the New York Jets. While Yates lists Garoppolo as the


Trending News

Share 49erswebzone