Sakamoto: Kyle Shanahan loves Jimmy Garopollo’s ability to withstand hits in pocket, keeping eyes downfield!

Lynch ties fate to Garoppolo

San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch is moving all-in when it comes to finding his franchise quarterback. The Niners first-year general manager made the biggest splash, trading for four-year veteran QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Rumors have been swirling around dating back to former GM Trent Baalke in regards to Garapollo possibly landing in San Francisco.

Patriots receive 2018 second-round pick 

Fast forward to today and that has now become a reality. However, acquiring Garoppolo’s services came with a hefty price tag. The New England Patriots receive the 49ers 2018 second-round pick. 

In addition, Garoppolo is playing in the final year of his rookie contract. But not to worry, I highly doubt Lynch would’ve pulled the trigger if he didn’t already have an itch that Garoppolo would stay. The Niners have plenty of cap space and will undoubtedly strike a long-term deal with their new franchise quarterback at season’s end. 

Garopollo’s NFL career

Originally drafted in the second-round (No. 62) of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, Garopollo was a sitting duck playing behind arguably the greatest quarterback to ever lace ’em up– QB Tom Brady

Despite playing spot duty, Garoppolo has fared extremely well completing 63 of 94 passes for 690 yards and five touchdowns. 

So how well will Garoppolo fare with eight games left in the season. To be honest, no quarterback can have success without a stable, reliable, and consistent offensive line. Unfortunately, that’s a weakness of the 49ers offense. The team ranks second-worst in the NFL, allowing 27 sacks through eight games– only the Indianapolis Colts fare worse (33). 

49ers’ Jim Harbaugh held private workout with Jimmy Garoppolo

Aside from that fact, there are no real playmakers at any of the skill positions. Sure, WR Pierre Garçon is reliable, but he’s not a 1,400+ yard receiver with home-run ability. In fact, Garçon has only two career 1,000-plus yard years in nine NFL seasons. 

The Niners need Pro Bowl talent. Hopefully, the upcoming NFL draft will supplement those needs. 

BEASTwriter analysis 

At 6-2, 226, Garoppolo has the ideal HWS (height, weight, speed) that scouts covet for the position. He has a very quick release with a high-football IQ to match. No offense to QB Colin Kaepernick, but Garopollo’s cognitive ability to breakdown defenses pre-snap while scanning receivers downfield will also be evident. 

Lynch stays true to cultural identity: ‘Heart’

But the most important skill set, doesn’t come from a physical standpoint. It comes from within. ‘Heart.’ As a player you can’t coach ‘heart.’ You either have it or you don’t. What’s heart? Simply put, it’s tied to passion, will power, and love for the game. If actions speak louder than words than Garoppolo is living proof. He has zero fear staying poised inside the pocket, keeping eyes downfield, while delivering a perfectly thrown spiral–all with a barreling 265-pound pass-rusher breathing down his neck. That’s heart! 

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked what he likes most about his franchise quarterback and Shanahan echoed the genetic makeup from a cerebral standpoint:

“Most importantly, to me, he hangs in that pocket, keeps his eyes downfield and is up for any challenge,” said Shanahan. 

Garoppolo on playing behind Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana and Steve Young

I asked Garoppolo for his thoughts on the rich tradition here in San Francisco while playing behind two of the best, Montana and Young. Here’s what Jimmy G had to say:

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.