No. 1: How Does Jimmy Garoppolo Improve upon 2019?
While the bouts between Nick Mullens, C.J. Beathard and Broc Rutter are enticing enough, all focus will remain on Jimmy G.
NBC Sports’ Chris Simms placed Garoppolo No. 20 on his list of quarterbacks entering this season, which might seem a bit low. But Garoppolo has yet to showcase he’d be worthy of a top-15 selection.
San Francisco 49ers
That said, Garoppolo’s regular-season efforts in 2019 were certainly notable. Among the accolades:
- 3,978 passing yards — fourth in franchise history
- 69.1 completion percentage — fourth among qualifiers in 2019
- 102.0 passer rating — seventh among qualifiers in 2019
- four fourth-quarter comebacks — tied for first in 2019
- four game-winning drives — tied for fourth in 2019
- 50 percent completions (65-of-130) on third-down passes for a first down — first among qualifiers in 2019
Still, Garoppolo is slighted. And there are reasons why he should be.
Case in point, Garoppolo’s 2.7 interception percentage was tied for seventh worst in the league last year, and none of the other bottom 10 in this category made the playoffs. In a sense, the Niners had to work around that stat.
Garoppolo also wasn’t particularly effective throwing outside the numbers, which put more pressure on him to rely on those inside routes in a much more-crowded area of the field.
If there’s good news, though, it’s Garoppolo will have the full year’s experience working within Kyle Shanahan’s complex, innovative system. While Jimmy G might not have the same trajectory as another quarterback with whom he’s been compared, the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan in 2016, Garoppolo’s efforts this season will be provocative to watch, putting it lightly.
In fact, it might be San Francisco’s biggest storyline of the 2020 season.