Jimmy Garoppolo might be a third-tier quarterback, performance data leads one analyst to believe.
But the 49ers signal-caller still has a place in the upper half of NFL quarterbacks, as only eight quarterbacks cracked the top two tiers of Pro Football Focus' rankings.
Steve Palazzolo, senior analyst for Pro Football Focus, included Garoppolo in a group after the likes of Tier 1 quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson, and Tier 2 players Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.
“Garoppolo finished with the 13th-best grade in the league during the regular season, and that’s a fair proxy for what he is at this point in his career,” Palazzolo wrote. “The 49ers had one of the most efficient passing games in the league in 2019; the scheme was fantastic, and Garoppolo was aided by 55.1 percent of his yards coming after the catch, the second-highest rate in the league.”
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Garoppolo, 28, had a solid season in his first year as an NFL every-game starter in 2019. He completed 69.1 percent of his regular-season pass attempts for 3,978 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Garoppolo averaged 8.4 yards per pass attempt. Only Ryan Tannehill (10 starts) and Matthew Stafford (eight starts) had higher averages per attempt.
“Garoppolo’s accuracy does help make the system work, as he had the sixth-lowest percentage of uncatchable passes a year ago,” Palazzolo wrote, “though he must cut down on those poor decisions over the middle of the field that turned too many of his solid games into average performances.”