The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami tweeted this on Sunday:
I’m not a knee-jerk Jimmy Garoppolo ripper. The 49ers almost won a Super Bowl with him. But watching a bunch of these QBs today... including the young ones (Murray/Herbert), I’m wondering if Shanahan/Lynch are doing the same and thinking they can and have to do better at QB.
That’s after we saw plenty of talent in the college ranks as well as the young quarterbacks push the ball down the field and make plays off script on Sunday. If the 49ers plan to select a quarterback early, they’re going to have to do some tanking. There are ten teams that have three or fewer wins this season.
I’d like to introduce a new phrase to the 49ers lexicon:
Jimmy Gimmes are the easy passes head coach Kyle Shanahan puts in the game plan every week for Jimmy Garoppolo when he’s healthy enough to play. Jimmy Gimmes are shovel passes, screens. Throws that travel mere inches forward, or go backward.
Jimmy Gimmes have propped up Garoppolo and made him successful in Santa Clara. Shanahan has a million different layups for Garoppolo. But not for Nick Mullens.
Shanahan makes Mullens throw the ball down the field. And to be fair, Mullens is good throwing downfield. This season, on passes that have traveled at least 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, Mullens has completed 14 of 23 attempts, thrown one touchdown pass and zero interceptions, while Garoppolo has completed just 5 of 18 attempts, thrown zero touchdowns and a whopping four picks.
Looking ahead: This probably isn’t going to happen, but it’s food for thought: How would Johnson, who is better on the run than any of Shanahan’s 49ers quarterbacks to this point, look in this offense? At age 34, he probably doesn’t run like he did when he was coming out of the University of San Diego more than a decade ago. But one of the questions of the offseason will be whether Shanahan will warm up to the type of mobile, big-arm quarterbacks who are all the rage in the NFL and who could be available in the draft. Johnson might be the right type of quarterback to mentor a rookie.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Wilson has all the likable traits for a high-quality starting quarterback at the NFL level.
Wilson’s arm strength might not be the best, and there are some questions about his durability within the pros. But when it comes to play-action passes, bootlegs and rollouts, Wilson is a natural fit for what Shanahan would want under center.
More importantly, the accuracy is there, too, as evidenced by Wilson’s 74.6 completion percentage so far in 2020.
Wilson could be a riser in big boards between now and draft day, potentially warranting a trade up from No. 15.
For now, however, he winds up going to San Francisco right where it wants him to be.
Javon Kinlaw B-
To date, Kinlaw is still looking for his first NFL sack and has just one quarterback hit despite the pressures. Those figures keep his grade down a bit, although he’s showing to be a solid interior run defender and someone with the pedigree capable of being a true interior disruptor.
Kinlaw has massive shoes to fill in the wake of Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner’s trade last offseason.
But the arrow is still pointing upwards on San Francisco’s top pick
OLB Za’Darius Smith: He made easy work of left tackle Justin Skule. Late in the second quarter, he worked through the chip from the tight end and beat Skule with an outside move before hitting Nick Mullens and nearly creating an interception. Later, he put the same move on Skule and won easily, creating instant pressure and providing an opportunity to strip-sack Mullens for a takeaway. Credit him for attacking the football to finish the play. The Packers wanted more strip-sacks in 2020. A drive later, Smith beat the pulling guard and dumped Jerick McKinnon for a loss.
3) The $113 million men
Regardless as to whether or not Arik Armstead and Jimmie Ward play out their entire contracts, the team issued out a combined dollar value of $113 million between their new deals. Of course, they could save money by restructuring or releasing either player down the road, but that’s not the point.
The point is they paid the wrong guys.