SF 49ers: 5 most disappointing players from 2020
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: SF 49ers Quarterback Nick Mullens
Again, context is important for understanding why backup quarterback Nick Mullens winds up as the No. 1 most disappointing SF 49ers player from 2020.
True, backup quarterbacks aren’t expected to be team saviors in the wake of a significant injury to a starter, and that’s the situation Mullens was placed in when Jimmy Garoppolo went down way back in Week 8.
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But it’s important to acknowledge two things. First, there’s the obvious importance of efficient quarterbacking. Second, Mullens’ stock value was considerably high towards the tail end of his last stretch of starts in the latter half of 2018.
Mullens wasn’t efficient under center over his eight starts this season, being responsible for 11 interceptions and four fumbles lost during that timeframe, and his 3.7 interception percentage ranked worst in the league among qualifiers during that span. On top of that, any net value for Mullens’ stock took a massive hit with his noticeable regression from the 2018 season.
The Niners didn’t need Mullens to be a dynamic game-winning quarterback to spark the offense. Rather they needed him to protect the ball even if that meant being conservative in game-managing fashion.
That didn’t happen.
Mullens’ 2020 campaign came to a close with an elbow injury suffered in Week 15, and now he faces a less-than-certain future as a restricted free agent next season.