Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Where PFF ranks 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo among starting QBs

May 18, 2021 at 6:38 AM--

Jimmy Garoppolo heads into the 2021 season as the San Francisco 49ers' starter. The plan is for him to be the starter for most of the — if not the entire — season, allowing rookie quarterback Trey Lance the luxury of using the time to sit, learn, and master head coach Kyle Shanahan's playbook. Lance is said to be a fast learner, though, so he may be ready to take over Garoppolo's role at some point in the near future.

Garoppolo is 24-9 as the 49ers' starting quarterback. That includes the team's Super Bowl run during the 2019 season. When he's been on the field, the veteran signal-caller has proven to be a winner. So why the move to trade up and draft an eventual replacement?

Garoppolo has also missed 23 games over the last three seasons, which is nearly the same amount of regular-season starts he's made. The quarterback missed most of 2018 after suffering a torn ACL and 10 games last season due to ankle injuries.

Pro Football Focus recently ranked all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sit at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Where does Garoppolo rank? You have to scroll all the way down to No. 22, passing quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Daniel Jones, and even rookie Trevor Lawrence to get there.

"Injuries have become the story for Garoppolo, as he has started [about] 50% of the 49ers' games since the beginning of the 2018 season," wrote Bruce Gradkowski. "He did manage to lead the Niners to a Super Bowl appearance the year he came back from his torn ACL. Things are different now, as he has Trey Lance waiting in the wings in case he is either injured or shows a stretch of inconsistency.

"Garoppolo has shown he's capable of executing Shanahan's offense at a high level, but he tends to make a few questionable decisions or throws per game. Lance did a phenomenal job of protecting the football in college. It will be interesting to see how this plays out — expect Garoppolo to have a good year even under such pressure."

Maybe having Lance behind him will further motivate Garoppolo this season, keep him on the field, and improve his production. That would create a tough decision for San Francisco after this season, especially if the rookie proves to have a solid grasp of the offense. Choosing between two capable quarterbacks is a nice problem for any NFL team to have.

Pro Football Focus also ranked the top running backs in the league. However, no 49ers running back, not even starter Raheem Mostert, made the list.

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