There weren’t any San Francisco 49ers to make the first wave of the NFL’s top-100 list, but we wouldn’t be denied on the second wave. In fact, there were two surprises. Both Jimmy Garoppolo and Fred Warner both made the list, and I was not expecting either to. This gives you an idea of the difference of opinion between the players and the coaches and executives.
In The Athletic’s annual QB rankings, Garoppolo came in the third tier and was the 17th best quarterback. Something tells me the players disagree. By the rankings, it seems as if the players lean towards their experience and winning, while the coaches and front offices look at the bigger picture like how a player’s role is affected by the team. I think it’s awesome that Garoppolo gets this type of love from his peers because this offseason has been a brutal one for him. Some fans make it seem like Jimmy G gets zero credit. He does here:
Supporters say he answered many questions in his first full season, falling just short of 4,000 passing yards and winning the Super Bowl. Skeptics point to his penchant for turning the ball over and Kyle Shanahan’s prolific system. Is Jimmy G underrated or overrated? The question remains.
Also important: these lists mean nothing, and I guarantee the players don’t put much thought into them, and neither should we.
Warner listed at No. 70 is great. He’s a stud, man. I could “stat” you to death, but even those don’t do Warner justice for how excellent he was in 2020. This past spring, I wrote about him being the best coverage linebacker in the NFL. He is. I also found this old tweet from last training camp, where Richard Sherman said that Warner was talking the next step as a player:
Sherm just said the confidence on the 49ers defense is light years ahead of where they were last year, and that’s why they’ve been able to make plays in practice.— KP (@KP_Show) August 16, 2019
He talked about how Fred Warner is playing faster, and has taken the next step. Warner forced a fumble today.
Sherm was right. Here is Warner’s blurb:
Warner began his NFL career with four consecutive games with at least 10 tackles. Last season, the BYU product recorded three sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown. Entering his third season, Warner has not missed a game and has amassed 242 tackles. The future is bright for this young man.
Linebackers listed so far:
- 100 - Lavonte David, Bucs
- 88 - Jaylon Smith, Cowboys
- 83 - Eric Kendricks, Vikings
- 67 - Demario Davis, Saints
- 50 - Darius Leonard, Colts
I’d entertain an argument for Davis, and possibly Kendricks, but Leonard isn’t in Warner’s league, and that’s no disrespect to him.
Quarterbacks listed so far:
- 90 - Kyler Murray, Cardinals
- 87- Josh Allen, Bills
- 68 - Ryan Tannehill, Titans
- 58 - Kirk Cousins, Vikings
- 46 - Dak Prescott, Cowboys
I don’t think anyone argues that Jimmy is better than Dak, but it’s hilarious to see Cowboy’s fans throw a fit over these rankings.