For months now, the 49ers have been expected to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo and start second-year quarterback Trey Lance under center this season.
It would be a welcomed move for one anonymous NFL coach whose team plays against the 49ers this season, per The Athletic's Mike Sando.
“That would be like my early Christmas present if they just get rid of Jimmy, so that way he can’t play for them, and then make Trey be your guy,” the anonymous coach told Sando on his annual roundup of the quarterback tiers.
Garoppolo was actually ranked ahead of Lance on the list, an annual survey of 50 coaches and executives around the league to find an insider consensus ranking of NFL quarterbacks.
The 30-year-old Garoppolo was slotted at No. 16 overall in Tier 3 along the likes of Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill and Mac Jones. Lance was 13 spots below Garoppolo at No. 26 and in Tier 4, surrounded by fellow unproven signal-callers like Justin Fields, Tua Tagovailoa and Zach Wilson.
“I love the skill set (of Lance), but he had ball-accuracy concerns on his tape coming out, and he was really raw,” another head coach told Sando. “The very little I’ve seen of him last season, he’s got a little Tim Tebow to him -- it’s a long delivery. It seems like there are some mechanical things he has to work out. But that is from watching a limited number of plays.”
San Francisco 49ers
Another representative from the NFC West agreed.
“Sure, the more he plays, the better he will probably get, but he is a 4, and I feel like he is probably the bottom 4 for me,” the voter said. “Just think about it. You get Russell Wilson out of here and now we’ve got Trey Lance playing and it is like, ‘Oh, thank you.’ It just went from a really good quarterback division to being one of the softer divisions.”
Whenever the 49ers face that anonymous coach's team, Kyle Shanahan will be plotting a few surprise gifts for his stocking.