I have completely new, totally unique information that you have definitely never heard before regarding the San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo is pretty dang good. Since the 49ers traded a second-round pick for him — a steal — before the trade deadline, Garoppolo has lit things up in a big way. Just about everyone is on the hype train.
And like any good hype train, we’re going to talk about all of its most prominent stops. Today, it’s an ESPN Insider article ranking the top new quarterbacks to build a franchise around. Unsurprisingly, Garoppolo is high on the list, No. 2 overall.
Here is what they have to say about Garoppolo:
What I saw this season: After being traded in the middle of the season, Garoppolo made a smooth transition into Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Yes, that system is legit and it will create some open throwing windows. But to have a QB come in and show total command of the offense -- the Niners went 5-0 in Garoppolo’s starts -- in that short of a time frame? Super impressive. Now, add in Garoppolo’s lightning-quick release, the on-point ball placement and mobility. Those are traits that apply to any NFL system. Yes, it’s still a small sample size, but there is no question about Garoppolo’s ability to attack tight windows, manipulate defenders with his eyes or make stick throws on the move. His tape passes the test. And I expect him to be better with more time learning Shanahan’s concepts. Shanahan coached Matt Ryan to an MVP season in his second year with the Falcons.
Why he’s ranked here: At 26, Garoppolo hasn’t yet entered his prime, but he showcases so many traits of an experienced, veteran quarterback. That’s the poise, decision-making and leadership in critical game moments. Plus, how can we not see the seamless fit with Shanahan? The middle-of-the-field throws, the deep-ball opportunities off play-action or the leveled targets when Garoppolo pulls the ball on boot action. With Shanahan’s playcalling, and Garoppolo’s advanced skill set to dice up coverages, the expectations should be sky-high in San Francisco. It’s why 49ers fans are pumped heading into 2018.
As usual, a lot of talk has to do with his poise. Garoppolo looks like a seasoned veteran, something that can surely be linked to his time learning from Tom Brady, even though the New England Patriots starter didn’t want anything to do with tutoring his apparent successor. Garoppolo has the poise and confidence needed in a franchise quarterback.
Notably, Garoppolo is ranked ahead of Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams, Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings, Mitchell Trubisky of the Chicago Bears, Jacoby Brissett of the Indianapolis Colts and DeShone Kizer of the Cleveland Browns.
The quarterback ahead of him is Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans. It’s hard to argue with that, as Watson was playing quite well before he went down with an injury this past season. He looked like a rookie at times, but there’s enough there that I’m not surprised to see him ranked ahead of Garoppolo.