49ers

How 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo looked on each preseason drive vs. Chiefs

How 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo looked on each preseason drive vs. Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Coming off a rough debut earlier in the week, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo saw his most action of the preseason Saturday night against the Chiefs.

Garoppolo completed 1 of 6 passes for zero yards Monday night against the Denver Broncos. It was his first game since he sustained a torn ACL in his left knee in Week 3 of last season against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Garoppolo fared much better in his return to Arrowhead, in what is expected to be his final game action before the start of the regular season. His pass protection was improved, and he looked much more comfortable in the pocket, completing 14 of 20 passes in the first half for 188 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. His passer rating was 116.2.

Garoppolo played the entire first half, taking 37 snaps. Nick Mullens replaced him under center at the beginning of the third quarter.

Here’s a drive-by-drive look at how Garoppolo performed:

Fifth series: Setting up another short field goal

Garoppolo ran a successful two-minute drill, moving the 49ers 43 yards on seven plays in 1:11 to set up Robbie Gould for a 34-yard field goal before the end of the half. The 49ers took a 13-0 lead.

Garoppolo completed an 11-yard pass to running back Matt Breida, then found tight end Ross Dwelley on back-to-back plays for 23 yards and 7 yards. He made an ill-advised throw to the goal line into triple coverage for Dante Pettis. Cornerback Rashad Fenton broke it up.

On third and 3, Garoppolo threw to Tevin Coleman for 2 yards. He was stopped at the sideline just shy of the first down to set up Gould’s field goal.

Fourth series: Drive stalls on breakup

After running plays by Coleman and Matt Breida combined to net a first down, Garoppolo hit consecutive pass completions for first downs, too.

Garoppolo hit Deebo Samuel with a play in the deep middle for 21 yards. Then, he flipped a short pass on a rollout to his right to Dante Pettis, who turned it into a 13-yard gain. He also hit fullback Kyle Juszczyk on a short pass for 4 yards.

But the drive stalled when Garoppolo’s pass for Dwelley on third and 3 was broken up by Kansas City safety Daniel Sorensen. Garoppolo’s throw was slightly behind Dwelley, but he should have held onto the ball. Garoppolo went 3-for-4 for 38 yards on the drive.

Gould hit a 29-yard field goal to cap the drive.

Third series: Three-and-out

The 49ers’ pass protection broke down on a third-and-3 play on which left tackle Joe Staley was beaten by former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark for a sack. On first down, Garoppolo threw high to Dwelley, who got both hands on the ball but could not make the catch.

Second series: On point

Garoppolo made two nice throws to set up and then score the team’s first touchdown of the game. He lofted a 20-yard pass to Matt Breida, who lined up in the slot and made a diving grab before safety Juan Thornhill could get there.

On the previous play, Garoppolo hit Richie James on a 33-yard pass against the tight coverage of cornerback Rashad Breeland, who had his back turned.

On the opening set of downs, Garoppolo hit Samuel with a quick slant for 6 yards. On third and 8, he floated a pass to Dante Pettis on an out pattern for 16 yards and a first down.

Garoppolo went 4-for-4 for 75 yards on the drive. The 49ers put together a seven-play, 78-yard drive that lasted 4 minutes, 11 seconds. The touchdown tied the game at 7-7.

First series: 50 percent accuracy

Garoppolo’s first pass, under pressure from unblocked Chiefs pass-rusher Reggie Ragland, was intended near the line of scrimmage for Dante Pettis but broken up by Breeland.

On third and 7, Garoppolo and Pettis were not on the same page. Garoppolo threw inside, while Pettis remained outside. But the drive continued due to a defensive holding penalty away from the ball.

On second and 10 from the 30, Garoppolo hit Kendrick Bourne over the middle. Bourne picked up 18 yards and a first down.

After Garoppolo fluttered a second-down pass incomplete for Marquise Goodwin, he went back to Goodwin and hit him with a tight spiral for a 9-yard gain on a third-and-6 play.

Juszczyk caught a swing pass from Garoppolo, made the first defender miss, and picked up 5 yards. On third and 2, Tevin Coleman was stopped for a 1-yard gain. On fourth down, Garoppolo’s pass was batted down by Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones.

Garoppolo finished the first series, completing three of six pass attempts for 32 yards. His passer rating after one drive is 66.0.

NFL Draft 2020: How agents are dealing with many coronavirus obstacles

NFL Draft 2020: How agents are dealing with many coronavirus obstacles

The 2020 NFL Draft might favor players who were able to able to attend the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine, due to pro days and in-person meetings being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But some agents believe teams have all the information they need to proceed on schedule. 

Leigh Steinberg and Chris Cabott, from Steinberg Sports and Entertainment, spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area about how their preparation for the draft has been consistent to what they’ve done in the past. Their agency represents Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, among other draft hopefuls. 

Both long-time agents believe that players who attended an All-Star event or the combine have an advantage, but that always has been the case. As in every draft, there will be players that exceed expectations and those that don’t live up to them. 

“When I first started in the industry in 1975 with Steve Bartkowski, there were no pro days, no team meetings, no combine,” Steinberg said. “If you look at statistics from players then, to those selected in 2005, the players in 1975 were more successful and productive. 

“Teams obviously believe that the more information they have, the better, but at some point it’s enough. I believe they have enough information to make educated and prudent choices.”

Brett Tessler, who represents 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, believes players who weren’t able to attend or weren’t invited to the combine are at a disadvantage across the board. An off the radar player won’t have the chance to catch a scout or coach’s eye at a local pro day and jump up a team’s draft board. 

“For most non-combine guys, it's going to put everybody at an equal disadvantage,” Tessler told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Teams will rely more on the spring testing numbers that they got prior to this season.

“But, the biggest disadvantage for non-combine guys trying to get drafted is the lack of being brought in for pre-draft visits where the medical staffs can do all the background work on these guys that they need to do.”

Just like everyone across the nation, players, agents and teams are taking advantage of video conferencing technology like Zoom and Skype for their 30 one-on-one pre-draft visits. This actually might be the one advantage for players who have grown up with video calls as the norm. 

[RELATED: Why Kentucky's Bowden is intriguing for Shanahan, 49ers]

As in the past, teams still have the ability to ask players schematic questions using a virtual chalkboard, and go over game film during video conferencing sessions. Cabott believes that this year, there also is one resource that could be more important than in previous pre-draft research. 

“Trainers,” Cabott said. “Those guys who were working with players, getting them ready for pro days will have information that will be important for teams. They can give projections, send videos of testing and have insight to a player’s work ethic.” 

NFL Draft 2020: Why Kentucky's Lynn Bowden could fit 49ers' offense

NFL Draft 2020: Why Kentucky's Lynn Bowden could fit 49ers' offense

When John Lynch assured 49ers fans that he and the rest of the front office still will be as prepared as ever for the 2020 NFL Draft despite the coronavirus pandemic, he did so in a video where he, of course, was grinding tape in the background. Lynch very might have been scouting the next offensive weapon for coach Kyle Shanahan.

It appears in the video that Lynch was watching tape of a University of Kentucky game. The Wildcats just so happened to have a do-it-all player who can be unleashed in Shanahan's offense. Lynn Bowden is the modern-day prospect every team is trying to get their hands on. 

The draft remains scheduled to begin on April 23, but the usual pre-draft meetings between teams and players have been wiped out due to the coronavirus. Well, kind of. 

Thanks to the power of technology, the 49ers still can meet with prospects and get to know them as more than just a player on film. The front office already had two FaceTime visits with Michigan State defensive lineman Kenny Willekes and TCU offensive lineman Cordel Iwuagwu, the prospects told Justin Melo of The Draft Wire. The Athletic's Matt Barrows reported Saturday that Bowden, who played quarterback and receiver at Kentucky, is on San Francisco's list of virtual interviews.

In Shanahan's first three seasons coaching the 49ers, he only has used two players other than quarterbacks to attempt a pass. Both came last season when Shanahan's complex offense truly began to take shape. Receiver Dante Pettis completed a 16-yard pass to running back Raheem Mostert in a Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, and fellow receiver Emmanuel Sanders hit Mostert with a 35-yard touchdown pass in a wild 48-46 Week 14 win against the New Orleans Saints. 

Now, just imagine if Shanahan had someone like Bowden. 

While Clemson's Isaiah Simmons can be labeled simply as "defense" for his versatility, Bowden should have OW next to his name for "offensive weapon." He was a receiver his first two-and-a-half years at Kentucky and had 745 receiving yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore. Then last season as a junior, he was asked to be the team's quarterback in their final eight games and dominated as a dual-threat QB. 

Bowden earned the Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most outstanding all-purpose player, as well as first-team Associated Press All-American all-purpose recognition. He rushed for 1,468 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, had 403 passing yards and three more scores and still led Kentucky in receiving yards with 348. To add the cherry on top, Bowden even helped returning punts and kickoffs. 

And with the ball in his hands, he's explosive.

At 5-foot-11 and 204 pounds, Bowden has speed, strength and great balance. He immediately can step in as the 49ers' version of a younger Taysom Hill. 

More importantly, Bowden fits in seamlessly to Shanahan's motion offense. Shanahan loves to use deception with play-action and multiple moving parts. This helped unleash Deebo Samuel as a ball-carrier throughout his rookie year. 

Shanahan can use Bowden on jet sweeps, reverses, play-action passes and even a wide receiver pass here and there. He's the perfect Swiss Army knife as football becomes more and more positionless. 

[RELATED: Should 49ers approach NFL draft as if Staley will not return?]

After their two first-round picks, the 49ers are back on the board twice in the fifth round, twice in the sixth and once in the seventh. Bowden likely will be available in the later rounds and easily can turn into a steal.

Whether it be as a receiver, ball-carrier, Wildcat QB or returner, the possibilities are endless with Bowden as a 49er in Shanahan's offense.