Nick Mullens fever has blinded us all. The sheer amount of posts questioning who our starting QB will be next season is nothing short of incredible. Sure, we can expect Jimmy Garoppolo slow to return based on injury, but some people claim Mullens may push a healthy Jimmy G for the starting role.
I’ll roll with you, Mullens makes good decisions and he knows the offense well; however, his arm talent is average and his ability to push the ball downfield is questionable. I’m in no way hating on Mullens or his accomplishments, but there’s a reason Garoppolo was drafted in round two and Mullens went undrafted. There’s a reason why Jimmy G was traded for a second round pick and Mullens ended up on the practice squad. Today, we roll back tape on Jimmy G for reminders of what we have, and what can be improved on from our franchise signal caller.
Garoppolo isn’t without flaws. The main thing I got from his three-game performance this season was an inability to take the checkdown. While Mullens excelled at this, Garoppolo would often wait and wait for the big play down the field. At times, it would open up. In other instances however, it would lead him to throwing into coverage or simply getting sacked. Here’s a few examples.
Versus the Minnesota Vikings, Garoppolo tries squeezing the ball into triple coverage:
In the red zone versus Kansas City, Garoppolo tries waiting for someone to uncover in the end zone instead of hitting the shallow cross for the catch and run:
It’s first and 20 versus Minnesota. We don’t need all 20 yards on first down. Instead of the checkdown, he waits, and waits, and gets sacked:
On to the good stuff. Here’s a few throws Garoppolo has consistency with:
1. Deep ins around 10-15 yards with ease, frozen ropes.
2. Curls and outside routes from the opposite hash mark. Basically, across the field lasers.
3. Deep passes and off-schedule throws
A couple of end zone dimes, one was dropped one was caught for TD
Check out this arm angle on the quick turnaround:
In watching the tape, I felt ashamed in myself to question Garoppolo. He threw darts out there and we were distracted by a few checkdowns from Mullens. Mullens was great for this season, he gave the team a confident leader and hope. There’s a saying that goes, “Hard work beats talent, but only if talent doesn’t work hard.” Mullens worked hard because Garoppolo couldn’t due to injury. I’m glad Nick got his shot, but we should all know who the real sheriff in town is. I can’t wait to see what our offense can do with healthy pieces. Garoppolo seemed to have built a solid rapport with Dante Pettis, and Trent Taylor before the latter had his back injury. Hopefully all three come back ready to ball. We also have a solid backfield combination, Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon, coming back with something to prove. Go Niners!