The San Francisco 49ers are going to be making a few moves in the coming days with their practice squad and last-minute tuning to their 53-man roster. One position that is pretty much locked in is the quarterback position. Most of the tinkering came in the 2017 season when they made their epic trade for Jimmy Garoppolo and subsequently released their original starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer.
Needless to say, the 49ers have come a long way from Blaine Gabbert.
During the 2018 offseason, the 49ers brought back Nick Mullens to training camp along with Jack Heneghan. Mullens had a decent camp while Heneghan didn’t look awful in the final game of the preseason. In fact, while reports showed Beathard having some moments, his preseason performance during games could have been seen as a step below Nick Mullens. The thing to keep in mind is that Beathard is playing against much better competition while Mullens was up against third and fourth stringers. Regardless of the gap, it wasn’t significant enough that the 49ers coaching staff saw a reason to shake things up at the backup quarterback spot. They know what they get with Beathard thanks to him standing in after an inefficient Brian Hoyer in 2018.
That brings us to Garoppolo. While Hoyer wasn’t a bad signing given the situations the 49ers faced themselves in, there wasn’t anything motivating about it by any stretch of the imagination. Garoppolo’s charisma and play reinvigorated a franchise and raised the players around him to another level. While Beathard may have regressed, Garoppolo has the potential to take the quarterback position to such a high level that the 49ers gained more than lost.
2017 QB depth chart: Brian Hoyer, C.J. Beathard
2018 QB depth chart: Jimmy Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard
There is no argument that the 49ers have gotten better at quarterback with the trade and later signing of Jimmy Garoppolo. Behind Garoppolo is Beathard, and while we know what we are getting from him, what we are getting isn’t much. If Garoppolo goes down, it wouldn’t be too pessimistic to assume it’s a lost season. Even with Beathard and a regression his regression, the 49ers are much much better at quarterback now than a year ago.
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Are the 49ers better, worse or the same at quarterback compared to the start of 2017?
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