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49ers in Five: Chris Simms ranks Jimmy Garoppolo as the 20th best QB in the NFL

“He still makes way too many dumb decisions”

Everything you need to know in about five minutes

A couple of weeks ago, Chris Simms put Trey Lance at number 31 in his top 40 quarterback rankings. Yesterday Jimmy Garoppolo was unveiled as number 20 on that list in an extensive breakdown during the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast.

Let’s start with the good stuff. Simms also dove into Jimmy's play from the pocket in addition to praising Garoppolo’s leadership, quick release, and subtle arm angle changes.

“He’s very good in the pocket. He is. When you really watch him, his sliding and moving in the pocket, he’s smooth. He knows the soft spots, where to find them, and do it from there.

The other thing I love about his game, too, is he does not need to have his feet in the proper positions a lot of times to make 10 and 12 yard type of throws down the middle of the field, on the edge of the numbers, whatever. That can cause him some problems sometimes, but he does make a number of throws where he moves in the pocket, the feet are kind of cockeyed, here’s Deebo Samuel coming across the field, he drops his arm a little, the feet are in the wrong spot and he still hits him, throws it in a good spot, it’s accurate, and Deebo Samuel can do things. So that’s the part I like about Jimmy Garoppolo for sure that he brings to the team.”

On the flip side, there were also things Garoppolo did that hurt his standing on the list.

“There’s a number of plays and yards left on the field all the time, whether it’s him not throwing the ball, or him not throwing the ball correctly down the field for a [game] changing play.

He still makes way too many dumb decisions. Like rookie, first-year, early-in-the-second-year type of decisions where you just go, ‘What?! You’ve played too much football to do that. How do you do that?’ There’s even some throws like that at times, too.

Those are the things that I think get lost in context when the year is over ‘cause we go, ‘Look he played good, they got to the championship game. Look at some of these stats and all that.’ Yeah, that’s cool, but when you go back and break it down you go, ‘Damn there was some meat on the bone, and damn they should have been better or more dangerous.’ I think he’s one of the reasons they’re not, at times.”

Chris specifically cited interceptions in the Divisional and Championship games as examples of bad decisions and this miss to Brandon Aiyuk that could have helped salt away the Cowboys in the Wild Card game.

However, despite Garoppolo’s higher ranking, Chris still thinks the 49ers would be better off starting Lance under center, even if the offense doesn’t run as smoothly at first.

“Lance’s skillset is gonna open up things in that offense to where [Kyle] Shanahan’s not gonna have to worry about all the time going, ‘I gotta find some way to trick the defense so I can find a guy wide open over the middle.’ He’s just gonna go, ‘Wait, between our run game, Trey Lance running some balls, oh sh*t he can throw the ball 60 yards off his back foot.’

Some of those things are gonna open up the offense, and it won’t be so hard for Shanahan to devise things to make it easy for Lance. He’ll go, ‘You know what? They’re actually playing a defense where I don’t have to be in the lab all week to figure out how to get the ball over to Deebo because they’re a little scared of Trey’s running, or his big arm, to where it’s kind of opened that part of the field up for me.’ So it might not be as efficient or effective early on, but to me has a chance to surpass [the offense with Garoppolo]...I think it has a chance to even be a more dangerous offense.”

The entire conversation was excellent and worth a listen if you’ve got the time.

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