The San Francisco 49ers have an answer to their quarterbacking woes. That answer is Jimmy Garoppolo, and he has arrived folks. Now, the team is on a different path for the future.
Back in October when San Francisco made the trade to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo, it signaled that this new regime is willing to take risks.
The 49ers sent off a 2018 2nd-round pick to the New England Patriots, and now it is looking like that may be a steal for San Francisco.
When somebody like John Middlekauff says something like that, you have to take notice. The team did fail to find the end zone in Week 13 against the Chicago Bears, but it was a solid performance nonetheless from Garoppolo.
For the game, Garoppolo finished 26-of-37 for 293 yards and one interception. Most importantly, it was Garoppolo who engineered the 14-play, 86-yard drive to win the game.
With this potential franchise quarterback now in play, everything is impacted. This is how Garoppolo effects the team.
Stability at the position
For the first time in years, the 49ers seemingly have a sense of steady play at quarterback. Yes, it was only one game. But it was an outing where Garoppolo showed off some tantalizing skills.
Garoppolo made some excellent throws, showing off a rapport with wide receivers Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor, and was nearly perfect on third downs. For the game, San Francisco was 10-of-18 on third down and picked up a total of 23 first downs.
The 56-percent third-down conversion rate was the Niners’ second highest of the season, and the 23 first downs are tied for the second most on the season. While they had trouble finding the end zone, the way the offense moved the ball was impressive.
San Francisco 49ers
Draft plans and team construction
The past few years, the draft focus for the team has been centered on best player available or scheme fit. With Garoppolo, it is now about suiting needs that benefit the quarterback and are tailored to his style of play.
This rebuild was set to be at least a five-year operation, but now that timeline has been accelerated. The 49ers now have a quarterback, and it is time to build around Garoppolo.
One of the biggest issues facing San Francisco right now? Their offensive line. There may be a better player available at No. 2 or No. 3 overall (most likely where the team will select in the 2018 draft) or on the free-agent market, but the offensive line has to be addressed first.
The offense now needs to be designed to Garoppolo. This is his team moving forward.
With a player like Garoppolo under center, the 49ers become that more enticing. Garoppolo has not even been with the team for two months yet, and he has already garnered top respect from his teammates.
That is a sign that bodes well for San Francisco’s future. If his teammates are already loving him now, imagine how it will be once Garoppolo really takes the reigns and has more time under his belt.
Trust is huge factor in team chemistry, which ultimately affects success, and Garoppolo is well on his way to gaining full trust from his teammates. When players inquire about coming here, they will want to know about the quarterback.
And the team just has to point to Garoppolo.
It is early on, but the investment made by the 49ers looks like it will pay off handsomely. San Francisco’s trajectory has now shifted.