clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Golden Nuggets: A Jimmy Garoppolo and Mike McDaniel reunion?

Your daily 49ers links for Sunday, February 26, 2022

Miami Dolphins v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The NFL Combine gets underway later this week, so expect plenty of draft coverage surrounding the 49ers.

2022 NFL rookie grades: Ranking the classes, 1 to 32

EDHOLM: Raise your hand if you had Spencer Burford and Brock Purdy as the 49ers’ no-doubt biggest rookie contributors before August? (Now put it back down, you filthy liar.)

Purdy was one of the most stunning rookie contributors in several years, going from Mr. Irrelevant to nearly a household name in just a few months. Thrust into the starting lineup in Week 13 for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo, Purdy led the Niners to a 5-0 regular-season finish and two playoff victories before suffering a torn UCL in the NFC Championship Game. But even with the major injury and with Trey Lance in place, Purdy completely rewrote the 49ers’ future QB picture, giving himself a chance to earn back the starting job eventually.

Burford started all but one game, often rotating with Daniel Brunskill. Although Burford will never be a mauler in the run game, he’s physically gifted enough to be a solid fixture in a Kyle Shanahan system. Jordan Mason was a surprise addition to the RB mix, offering nothing as a receiver but providing a physical punch as a runner late in the season. He’s worth watching.

The two rookie defenders who played in nearly every game last season offer some promise. Drake Jackson started out well in a reserve role but seemed to fade down the stretch, as a healthy scratch in five of the final six games (including playoffs). He’s twitchy with pass-rush potential but must show more stamina and strength to withstand a long season. Samuel Womack was a pleasant surprise, giving the team a nickel option for 2023.

Trey Lance Plans to Throw this WeekendHere comes Trey Lance. While Brock Purdy waits for the inflammation in his elbow to go away so he can have surgery to repair his ruptured...

Lance went on Instagram on Thursday to invite college wide receivers to practice with him in San Jose on Friday.

Lance presumably needs receivers to run routes so he can throw passes. Obviously, he can’t organize a full practice, because he’s not fully cleared and he doesn’t have an entire roster. But a group of wide receivers will allow Lance to practice all the throws he needs to make in the 49ers offense, and will give the college wide receivers a unique opportunity to practice with an NFL quarterback.

Even Brandon Aiyuk took to Instagram to help Lance solicit players, writing, “Brother said he tryna lock in he need wideouts!

Ten Changes: Making The Quest For Six Real

3. A change in cap priorities to improve the offensive line.

Over the past seven seasons, the team has spent about 20% of the cap on the defensive line and 15% on the offensive line. In the wake of a huge number of quarterback injuries, and phenomenal stats when the 49er quarterback is untouched, a significant investment in the O-line is warranted.

2023 NFL offseason team needs: NFC West priorities for Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, 49ers ahead of free agency

If the 49ers can shore up the right side of their offensive line and keep their quarterbacks upright, there’s no reason why they can’t once again reach as far as the NFC Championship Game for the fourth time in five seasons.

Potential veteran targets: Arizona Cardinals G Justin Pugh, New York Giants G Jon Feliciano, San Francisco 49ers G Daniel Brunskill, Pittsburgh Steelers CB Cameron Sutton, San Francisco 49ers safety Jimmie Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds, Green Bay Packers safety Adrian Amos

NFL free agency mock draft 2023: Jimmy Garoppolo to Dolphins, Derek Carr to Commanders and 30 other moves

26. Dolphins: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

They have a more immediate need at corner, where new coordinator Vic Fangio will attempt to revive their “D.” But the Jimmy G connection makes too much sense: as much as this team is publicly committed to Tua Tagovailoa, the young QB cannot — and should not — be trusted to stay on the field. Garoppolo has his own availability concerns, but he’s at least guided multiple playoff runs in the 49ers system from which Mike McDaniel hails. At the very least, he’d be premium insurance at a premium position.