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The 49ers Have Found Their Franchise Quarterback

Eric Espada/Getty Images

After a horrible start to the season, the 49ers may have found their quarterback of the future

Coming into the season, the San Francisco 49ers had new found hope under the regime of General Manager John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. After the worst start to a season in franchise history, that hope began to waver. 

However, with the shocking acquisition of Jimmy Garappolo on Monday night, the 49ers feel like they just added their QB of the future. With over 100 million in expected cap space coming this offseason to upgrade the roster, San Francisco looks like they are ready to right the ship. Colin Cowherd is already ready to crown the 49ers as next year’s breakout team. 


I believe the 49ers will now be the Rams next year. Not just doubling their win total, they’ll be a borderline playoff team”— @ColinCowherd pic.twitter.com/uoWalEFSBN

— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 31, 2017

The hype may be a little out of control, but Garappolo is the real deal. In limited action during the regular season last year with New England, he proved that he is ready for an opportunity to be the full time starter. He had 502 yards, 4 touchdowns, and zero interceptions with a completion percentage of 68.3 in a little over 6 quarters. It wasn’t just his stats that were good. Matt Bowen of ESPN talked about how impressive Garappolo’s mobility was in his two starts.

Stuff happens in football. That’s why I always say that the chalkboard isn’t perfect — especially at the quarterback position. Plays will break down and you want a quarterback who can use his mobility to buy time.

I’ve been impressed with Garoppolo’s skill set in the pocket. He can manage a mess at his feet, slide or step up to create throwing lanes, and he has the athleticism to pull the ball down if he needs to.

This showed up on both tapes with Garoppolo, as he found ways to move in the pocket while producing productive plays. Whether that was hitting Amendola on an inside crossing route for a touchdown versus Miami or pulling the ball down versus the Cardinals to turn a negative into a positive, Garoppolo can make those off-schedule plays that will pop up in every game. 

The game against Arizona that Bowen talked about was his best performance. It was week one in primetime on the road against a team that had been in the NFC championship game the year before. The Cardinals defense was the fourth best team in the league last year against the pass, but Garappolo was able to make plays down the field and get his team the win in a hostile environment. According to Pro Football Focus, he was 20-of-26 attempts for 216 yards, one touchdown and a 113.6 NFL QB rating when he was given a clean pocket. 

This trade is particularly good for the 49ers because it gives them more flexibility in the upcoming NFL draft. They will likely end up with a top five pick even if they end up winning a few games because of the slow start. Instead of using their high pick on one of the quarterbacks in this loaded class, they now have the ability to trade down to a team like the Jets or Cardinals who desperately need a young quarterback. Not only will this allow them to draft another position of need in the first round, it will also give them extra draft capital to fill even more needs. 

All of this goes without mentioning what the 49ers gave up. To get a potential franchise altering player for only a second round pick when it was rumored that teams were willing to give up first rounders is a great trade. Garappolo might not end up being the next Tom Brady or Joe Montana, but he’s certainly worth what the 49ers gave up for him if he continues to play the way he has shown he’s capable of.

Edited by Brian Kang.

SQuiz
Who is the only NFL franchise to have a winless season?
Created 11/2/17
  1. San Francisco 49ers
  2. Cleveland Browns
  3. Detroit Lions
  4. Buffalo Bills

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