Perhaps no quarterback brings more debate to the table in the NFL than Jimmy Garoppolo.
Is the 49ers signal-caller elite? Is he just average? Is he below average? It really depends on who you ask on any given day.
Pro Football Focus places Garoppolo just above average among starting quarterbacks for the league's 32 teams. Going into the 2020 season, PFF ranks Garoppolo as the 15th-best starter at his position. He comes in right behind Derek Carr of the Raiders.
"He has shown stretches of elite play but hasn’t become the player many expected him to be when the 49ers traded for him to be the leader of this offense," Sam Monson of PFF wrote. "Garoppolo isn’t just a product of the offense, however, and some of his best PFF game grades have come in games where he was expected to do more than just manage the offense.
"If he could cut down on the inexplicable errors in his game (18 turnover-worthy plays in 2019), he would look more like the player many expected him to be based on the early flashes of potential."
Garoppolo, now 28 years old, had one of the best regular seasons by a QB in 49ers history last year. He finished the regular season with 3,978 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and completed 69.1 percent of his pass attempts. But he also had 13 interceptions and 10 fumbles on the year.
It shouldn't be forgotten Garoppolo was coming off a torn ACL last year, and it was his first full season as a starter in the league. Despite his flaws, he led the 49ers all the way to Super Bowl LIV one season after winning just four games -- three with him on the shelf.
While Deebo Samuel could miss the season opener, a healthy Trent Taylor and Jerick McKinnon, plus a rejuvenated Dante Pettis and the emergence of rookie Brandon Aiyuk should provide Garoppolo with even more weapons to throw to. If he proves to be even better than PFF's ranking, the 49ers should be right in race for the Super Bowl yet again.