With the San Francisco 49ers’ loss to the Buffalo Bills, the team will need to be nearly perfect the rest of the season and get some help to have any chance at the postseason. The 49ers’ offseason looms with several big decisions on the horizon with none bigger than how the franchise will move forward at quarterback.
Bleacher Report’s draft analyst Matt Miller sees Florida quarterback Kyle Trask as a great fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Miller noted that Trask does not have the mobility that Shanahan prefers but the Gators quarterback makes up for it with his arm strength.
“The same goes for the San Francisco 49ers, who could move on from Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason and give Kyle Shanahan a quarterback like Ryan, who won the 2016 MVP while Shanahan was his offensive coordinator,” Miller detailed. “And while Trask might not move the pocket as well as some believe Shanahan would like at the position, he offers a big arm to push the ball vertically and has proved through two years at Florida that he’s able to protect the ball—two things Garoppolo has struggled with.”
Shanahan Voiced Support for Garoppolo Heading into 2021
There is no shortage of rumors surrounding the 49ers’ quarterback decision, but Shanahan has continued to publicly back Jimmy Garoppolo. Shanahan recently noted that he expects Garoppolo to be the starter in 2021, but it would be surprising if the 49ers did not at least consider other options. We know the last offseason the Niners kicked the tires on potentially signing Tom Brady.
“I expect Jimmy to be our starter next year,” Shanahan explained in a November press conference, per 49ersWebZone.com. “I expect him to come and play with us this year. We have six games left. We are not out of the playoffs yet. I’ve been on a team that was three and six going into a bye week and ended up winning their division. I think we have guys on this team capable of finishing this the right way. We’ve got to do one game at a time and I hope Jimmy can come back and be a part of that, but to think that we’ve made any decisions on somebody going into the future, this isn’t the case. Jimmy has won a lot of games for us this year. It’s a lot harder to win games when he’s not here and I’m just hoping we can get him back.”
The 49ers Could Keep Jimmy G & Draft a Quarterback
There are many possible paths the 49ers could take at the position but one plausible scenario is the team selects a quarterback in the NFL draft while retaining Garoppolo. This would still give the 49ers the option of keeping Garoppolo for another season but creates more of a competition heading into 2021. Going into Week 14, the Niners hold the No. 14 pick in the upcoming draft.
This likely puts them out of the range of where top quarterbacks like Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields will be selected. The 49ers will likely be choosing from the next group of quarterbacks like Trask, Trey Lance, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones where they are slated to pick. San Francisco could also opt to address another position with their first-round selection and draft a quarterback with a day two or three pick.
The Niners will have a lot of options this offseason and fans can expect the team to at least explore every one of them. It is hard to imagine Garoppolo returns without some form of competition heading into training camp.
Trask Has Drawn Comparisons to Joe Burrow
Through nine games, Trask has thrown for 3,243 yards, 38 touchdowns and just three interceptions while completing more than 71 percent of his passes. Trask is a late-bloomer taking over the Gators starting quarterback position in 2019 after an injury and played himself into being a top NFL draft prospect. While not the same player, Trask’s path to the NFL has drawn comparisons to Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow who used his senior season at LSU to move from a likely day-three selection into becoming the No. 1 pick.
“You don’t want to compare anyone to [Joe] Burrow, but he’s doing a lot of Burrow-like things this year,” one NFC area scout told Bleacher Report. “And that toughness and competitiveness is really on par.
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