Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers find themselves in a precarious situation as the 2020 regular season nears a finish. A team that high had hopes coming off a Super Bowl appearance got derailed by injuries to several key players early on in the year.
What’s most unique about this San Francisco team is the storyline that surrounded Garoppolo coming into this season. As many know, in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs, the 49ers were one throw away from winning the game. Ever since, speculations have arose of whether or not Garoppolo is the future quarterback of the 49ers.
Garoppolo was one the several players injured for this San Francisco team. The question remains, does that buy him time as the starting quarterback of the 49ers, or will they move on from him in the offseason?
If they do choose to move on, here are four viable options to replace Jimmy Garoppolo.
This one may seem like a long shot as Carson Wentz is one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL, but hear me out.
It appears that the Eagles are going to ride this season out with rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts, who, might I add, just beat the New Orleans Saints, a team that was on a nine-game winning streak. Even if the Eagles miss the playoffs, Hurts may earn himself the job if he continues to impress.
Wentz — who many believe is a franchise quarterback — would thrive in the San Francisco system. The 49ers have solid pass protection and their offensive scheme is a mixture of a power run game coupled with misdirection (motions, jet sweeps, play actions, etc.).
Wentz, who has been beaten game after game will actually have time in the pocket to go throw his reads and make smart decisions with the football.
When the Falcons went on their Super Bowl run, Matt Ryan was paired with Kyle Shanahan. The Falcons had the best offense in the league and appeared to be on their way to a dominant Super Bowl victory.
If we take away the blown Super Bowl lead and just examine Ryan’s time with Shanahan, we would concur that they were successful together.
Ryan may be on his way out in Atlanta as a culture shift seems to be taking place. They will be on the search for a new head coach this offseason and that coach may want to begin with the quarterback of his choosing (a.k.a drafting one).
While Ryan is getting up there in age, he could still be a viable option for the 49ers for a year or two. Heck, who knows, maybe he and Shanahan can rekindle their magic. Ryan would be an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo.
Kirk Cousins will be on the market this year. If the Minnesota Vikings fail to make the playoffs, Cousins could be finding a new home in the offseason. Even if the Vikings make the playoffs, there may still be a chance they move off of him baring a deep playoff run.
Cousins is similar to Matt Ryan in terms of mobility and athleticism. They are both pocket passers who can throw accurately if given the time.
Cousins is better when surrounded by the right pieces and this San Francisco offense is loaded with young talent. With a good offensive line and solid running game, Cousins could become a better version of himself.
In Minnesota, the scheme is very similar. Feed Dalvin Cook and build off play action. But, the Vikings’ pass blocking isn’t as good as the 49ers.
It appears more likely than not that the San Francisco 49ers will be missing the playoffs. Their draft pick will most likely fall somewhere in between 11-15. With that pick, they may be able to draft their franchise quarterback.
North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance may be the man they are looking for. Lance has turned many heads during his tenure at North Dakota State and many scouts expect him to be a starter in the NFL.
Not only will the Niners get a cheap rookie contract, but they will also be getting a playmaker at quarterback. They haven’t had that since Colin Kaepernick.
There are some other quarterbacks who they could select in this draft, such as Mac Jones out of Alabama or Kyle Trask out of Florida. Point being is that the San Francisco 49ers will have ample opportunities of drafting a young quarterback to replace Jimmy Garoppolo if they decide not to trade for or sign one in the offseason.