49ers Roster: Power ranking quarterbacks ahead of Week 1

San Francisco 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo #10
San Francisco 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo #10 (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Niner Noise takes a look at the quarterback position entering into training camp.

Whether or not you would call it a quarterback controversy is a matter of personal opinion, but the 49ers certainly have a few questions about the position for 2021.

How long will incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo take the reins as the starter? Can he hold off rookie Trey Lance all season? Could Lance shock everyone and take the job by Week 1? And who will take the No. 3 quarterback role on a roster that usually takes three quarterbacks on its final roster?

The 49ers have four quarterbacks on their roster which means the team will be saying to one and possibly two quarterbacks by Week 1. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be the same for the 49ers this season, but it stands to reason the 49ers would like an experienced backup on the roster just in case.

The quarterbacks can essentially be put into two tiers. Garoppolo and Lance make up the first tier of the potential starters for 2021 and will take the majority of the attention (and rightfully so) for training camp and the lead-up to Week 1.

Josh Rosen and Nate Sudfeld make up the second tier. While nobody wants to accept that their third-string quarterback will take the field in any meaningful action, 49ers fans have had to bear that particular cross in recent seasons, unfortunately.

49ers fans know more than most that this could be a battle worth monitoring. So with that in mind, Niner Noise is power ranking the four quarterbacks as we get ever closer to training camp and Week 1.

San Francisco 49ers, Nate Sudfeld
San Francisco 49ers, Nate Sudfeld (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Quarterback No. 4: Nate Sudfeld

To get it straight right off the bat, Nate Sudfeld has not shown anything in the NFL to suggest that he can be anything but a camp body or a backup NFL quarterback. But Sudfeld isn’t aiming to be the starter, he’s aiming to stick on the roster at the No. 3 quarterback for the 49ers and that isn’t necessarily unachievable.

Sudfeld doesn’t have the potential that Josh Rosen has, and that could count against him as the 49ers do have a liking for high upside players. Fortunately for Sudfeld, this isn’t as big of a consideration when it comes to the quarterback position. Trey Lance is the quarterback of the future for San Francisco, so Sudfeld just needs to outperform a player to who the 49ers have no particular attachment.

The big question is can Sudfeld move up the depth chart with the limited opportunities he has? Fourth-string quarterbacks don’t usually get much time in the preseason games or training camp with the starters.