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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


‘He won’t be an elite quarterback’: PFF lists 49ers with ‘high’ QB need due to Jimmy Garoppolo’s shortcomings

Feb 19, 2021 at 6:26 AM--


We have just one sample of a full season with Jimmy Garoppolo as a starter. During that 2019 season, the quarterback led the San Francisco 49ers to 13 regular-season wins and a playoff run ending with a Super Bowl appearance. Outside of that, Garoppolo was a backup in New England and has battled to stay on the field due to injuries in San Francisco.

Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus recently ranked every NFL team's quarterback situation by need. After all, the quarterback can be the most important position on a team, and those that have elite ones can have longer championship windows. The 49ers fell under "high" for quarterback need, which within this ranking means the current starter is on the decline and/or running out of time to prove himself.

When Garoppolo has been on the field, he has won football games. The quarterback owns a record of 24-9 (including playoffs) as San Francisco's starter and has been significantly better than its other options. Treash notes that Garoppolo's career Pro Football Focus grade of 80.8 with the 49ers is more than 13 points higher than the other options since the analytics site started tracking players. That includes names like Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick.

However, Garoppolo's 23 missed games over the past three seasons are most concerning. He missed 13 games due to an ACL injury in 2018 and 10 this past season due to ankle injuries. However, Treash doesn't believe those are the quarterback's only limitations.

"He struggles to see linebackers, has not been durable throughout his NFL career," explained Treash, "practically lost the 49ers the Super Bowl last year with a few miscues and has been propped up by Kyle Shanahan's scheme. Those are all rightful concerns with Jimmy G."

While Garoppolo has his limitations, the 49ers' Super Bowl run just over a year ago shows that he can succeed with strong pieces around him. The problem is that San Francisco faces some difficult salary-cap decisions this offseason and could see an exodus of talent.

"[Garoppolo] won't be an elite quarterback or lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl himself," added Treash, "but he can be the ultimate game manager in this ecosystem, as we saw in 2019. After all, the 49ers finished third among the 32 offenses in successful pass-play rate that season."





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