49ers

Chris Simms ranks 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo as No. 21 overall QB in NFL

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AP

Chris Simms ranks 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo as No. 21 overall QB in NFL

The 49ers hold Jimmy Garoppolo in high regard, as evidenced by the massive investment they have in him.

But at least one analyst isn't as impressed by Garoppolo as San Francisco is.

NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms has been breaking down his quarterback rankings, and he recently revealed he had Garoppolo ranked 21st overall in the 32-team league.

So, 21st? Isn't that a little low? That sandwiches Garoppolo between the Jets' Sam Darnold and the Bears' Mitchell Trubisky, for crying out loud.

In explaining his reasoning, Simms pointed to Garoppolo's relative inexperience, despite the fact he's entering his sixth NFL season.

"We haven't really seen him in crunch time, NFL, you know, consistent, week after week football, yet," Simms explained. "That would be my big question. And, you know, one of the things I'll say about him, he's good at everything. ... I don't know if there's one glaring thing I look at and go, 'Oooh, he is great at this.' “

A year ago, Simms had Garoppolo ranked as the 15th-best quarterback in the NFL. The six-spot drop can be attributed primarily to the ACL injury he suffered in Week 3 last season, as well as the infusion of several young signal-callers around the league.

While that No. 21 ranking isn't overflowing with confidence, Simms isn't exactly "down" on Garoppolo. In fact, if things fall into place, Simms sees him as a potential dark-horse MVP candidate.

"I don't know what the odds are, but right now, to me, that would be a value bet for MVP," Simms said. "If you start going under-the-radar MVP picks ... Jimmy Garoppolo would be one of those guys."

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"If you got some extra money laying around, and you want to hit the jackpot, he'd be the guy," Simms continued.

Safe to say, if Garoppolo garners any MVP votes this upcoming season, that ranking will shoot up next year.

Stephen Jackson insists Colin Kaepernick is owed apology by 'fake' NFL

Stephen Jackson insists Colin Kaepernick is owed apology by 'fake' NFL

On Saturday, five days after George Floyd died while in police custody in Minnesota and with protests raging across the country, the NFL released a statement.

The words from the NFL didn't go over well.

In Twitter-speak, the tweet is getting ratio'd. More than 24,000 replies to just over 4,000 retweets.

NFL players Kenny Stills, Eric Reid, and filmaker Ava DuVernay had strong reactions to the NFL's tweet.

Former Warriors forward Stephen Jackson, who considered Floyd a brother and called him "Twin," did not appreciate the NFL's statement either.

"That's so fake, man," Jackson told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears on Monday. "It's so fake, it's so fake, it's so fake."

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Jackson believes the league should have apologized to former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to raise awareness for social injustices.

"Like, why even do it?" Jackson said. "We know it's not real. We know it's not real. You're making yourself look bad. That's one of those situations where they shouldn't even say nothing, bro. They shouldn't even say nothing. ... If anything, they need to apologize to Kaepernick. If they're gonna respond on this type of stuff, start it off with an apology to Kaepernick. Then maybe we'll accept it."

Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL since 2016. In a column posted by CNN over the weekend, former NFL executive Joe Lockhart said one team official told him they feared losing 20 percent of their season-ticket holders if they signed Kaepernick.

Kaepernick worked out for teams last year, but remains a free agent.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

How Colton McKivitz earned 49ers' prized 'gold helmet' before NFL draft

How Colton McKivitz earned 49ers' prized 'gold helmet' before NFL draft

When general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan took over the 49ers in 2017, they established an ideal set of criteria for potential draft-eligible prospects. An array of attributes are evaluated, from off-the-field character to football IQ.

49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters recently told The Athletic's Matt Barrows that fifth-round pick Colton McKivitz was one of around 15 potential draftees the team deemed worthy of this "gold helmet" designation.

“Gold helmet is not something we give out a lot,” Peters told Barrows. “The person really has to be exemplary, really has to stand out.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

McKivitz is a unique personality to say the least, as his father became famous around the West Virginia campus for wearing various animal skins as hats at every Mountaineer game.

But McKivitz also was a National Honor Society recipient and started 47 of 50 games in his collegiate career, even earning Big 12 Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year honors in 2019.

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McKivitz has an aggressive reputation on the field, but his former offensive line coach and family friend says the 49ers couldn't be getting a better all-around person.

“You’re not going to find a better human being as far as moral conduct is concerned,” Brion Schiappa said. “He will never embarrass the 49ers. Ever.”

San Francisco dealt with injuries across the offensive line in 2019, and will be counting on McKivitz's versatility in 2020 for depth.