When it comes to criticisms of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, they almost always seem to fall into one of two categories: his health and his experience.
It makes sense. Garoppolo has made just 10 career NFL starts, with eight of those coming in a San Francisco uniform. Only three of those starts came last season, and one was cut short after he suffered a torn ACL in a Week 3 loss to the Chiefs.
So when The Athletic's Mike Sando on Monday released his quarterback tiers survey -- which included input from 55 anonymous coaches and executives ranking the QBs into five tiers -- the discussion surrounding Garoppolo came as no surprise.
Garoppolo was ranked the No. 19 overall quarterback in the NFL, firmly in Tier 3 between Jacksonville's Nick Foles and Oakland's Derek Carr. Garoppolo was ranked in the bottom of Tier 2 a year ago, and the drop can be attributed to his latest injury. Still, though, voters remain optimistic that Garoppolo will be able to fully realize his potential.
"He is really accurate, he is smart and he is athletic, but he hasn’t played a lot of football, and you see it at times,” one GM said. “I just think he’s got everything if he can stay healthy. It sounds like he will have a better cast this year, and he’s got the coach."
The better cast being referred to includes running back Tevin Coleman, as well as two wide receivers selected within the first three rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. If Garoppolo can remain healthy enough to utilize it, voters believe he's destined to put together a great season.
"Injury does not mean he is worse,” a quarterbacks coach said. “His skills are the same. He needs to stay healthy and all those things will show."