Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

“I’m going to support whoever’s under center”: Kyle Juszczyk discusses 49ers’ draft trade for a QB

Apr 13, 2021 at 11:23 AM--

Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be the quarterback under center when the San Francisco 49ers kick off Week 1 of the 2021 regular season. Down the road? Who knows. Garoppolo's future with the team became more uncertain when general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan traded up from the No. 12 spot to No. 3 overall in this year's NFL Draft.

It is widely believed the move was made for a quarterback. San Francisco will be left with some good options despite two passers being expected to come off the draft board in the top two slots.

Juszczyk, like so many of his teammates, has always supported Garoppolo and defended his quarterback against skeptics. He fully expected San Francisco to push forward with the 29-year-old passer who owns a record of 26-9 as an NFL starter. Shanahan is 24-9 with Garoppolo at the helm of his offense.

Of course, missing 23 games over the past three seasons has left the 49ers seeking an alternative long-term option. The trade brought about mixed emotions for Juszczyk.

"It definitely was a little bit of a surprise, and it came with a little bit of excitement, but also a little bit of unsureness," Juszczyk shared on the Fantasy Footballers podcast, "just because it's so hard to predict what rookies are going to be able to do and how their game translates. And you definitely get the excitement of the No. 3 pick. You're getting a top-tier talent. You're getting somebody that is coveted around the league, somebody special, especially in this year's quarterback draft class. Some really special talent there.

"So, excited about that, but like I said, you never know how it's going to translate. And also, just from the personal side, Jimmy has been a great friend and a great teammate. When he's healthy, he's been a great player for us. You feel different ways about that, but, at the end of the day, as a player, you just have to put all your faith into Kyle and Lynch, that they're making the best decision for the team."

Right now, the plan is to hold onto Garoppolo. At least, that is the picture that Shanahan and Lynch are painting. You never know what the truth is when it comes to draft strategy. Juszczyk plans to support whoever ends up being in command of the huddle.

The fullback recently re-signed with the team on a five-year deal, so if there is a transition from Garoppolo to a younger prospect, Juszczyk will be around for it.

"As it stands now, Jimmy's still on the roster," Juszczyk continued. "So, I anticipate that he's most likely going to start the season off for us. Don't know that's necessarily the case or not, but it's kind of what I'm envisioning, maybe like the Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes transition. I could see that being feasible, but I don't know. We're just going to have to take it in stride, and I'm going to support whoever's under center, whether it's Jimmy or a rookie quarterback. I think, either way, we're going to be successful."

You can listen to the entire podcast below. The conversation with Juszczyk begins at about the 48-minute mark.

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