Entering the offseason, it looked like the San Francisco 49ers were set to make another run at the playoffs with Jimmy Garoppolo, who helped them reach the Super Bowl a few short years ago. Now, with the team’s trade up to the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft, his time appears to be wearing thin.
The trade up was made with the very clear intention of drafting a quarterback. Alabama’s Mac Jones, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance are all expected to be available, with Jones being at the center of most of the conversations about that pick.
49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, the closest thing we have to a star at the position in the NFL, addressed the speculation. Before the trade, he said he was pretty sure he’d be lining up behind Jimmy G. Now, he says he’ll be fully supportive of whomever is under center for San Francisco this year, a pretty clear sign that the team thinks there’s a good chance Garoppolo is traded.
“As it stands now, Jimmy’s still on the roster,” he told The Fantasy Footballers podcast, via 49ers Webzone. “So, I anticipate that he’s most likely going to start the season off for us. Don’t know that’s necessarily the case or not, but it’s kind of what I’m envisioning, maybe like the Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes transition. I could see that being feasible, but I don’t know.”
— 49ers Webzone (@49erswebzone) April 14, 2021
“We’re just going to have to take it in stride, and I’m going to support whoever’s under center, whether it’s Jimmy or a rookie quarterback. I think, either way, we’re going to be successful,” Juszczyk continued.
He calls Jimmy Garoppolo a “great friend and great teammate” so it probably isn’t the easiest thing for him to discuss frankly. Even so, he admits there is excitement about having the No. 3 pick and potentially drafting an elite talent.
“It definitely was a little bit of a surprise, and it came with a little bit of excitement, but also a little bit of unsureness, just because it’s so hard to predict what rookies are going to be able to do and how their game translates. And you definitely get the excitement of the No. 3 pick. You’re getting a top-tier talent. You’re getting somebody that is coveted around the league, somebody special, especially in this year’s quarterback draft class. Some really special talent there.
The NFL Draft begins on April 29. The San Francisco 49ers are on the clock after the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets, who are widely expected to take Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, respectively.
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