Jimmy Garoppolo’s disappointing performance in the 49ers’ 43-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday is making fans and pundits alike question whether the 28-year-old indeed should be the organization’s franchise quarterback.
After missing the previous two games with an ankle sprain, Garoppolo was cleared to play in Week 5 and got the start, but completed just seven of 17 pass attempts and was intercepted twice before being benched at halftime in favor of C.J. Beathard.
During an appearance on KNBR early on Monday morning, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport pondered whether the 49ers could consider looking to the draft for a new potential signal-caller if the 2020 season continues to trend downhill.
"I don't know what's going to happen with the 49ers' season," Rapoport told Brian Murphy and Adam Copeland (h/t 49ers Web Zone). "They are still a very, very, very well-coached team. If anyone can overcome the injuries and the sort of uncertainty and ups and downs, they could. But if it does turn out to be a really rough season, and they have a relatively high draft pick, it's going to be interesting to see what they do. Could they be someone who takes a quarterback? I think maybe they could.”
Three quarterbacks are expected to lead this year’s crop of draft prospects, as Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance all are expected to be selected early in the first round.
Garoppolo was far from his full self in Sunday’s loss, as he appeared to be moving gingerly on his injured ankle throughout the first half and looked off-balance on many of his throws, including the two interceptions where he sailed passes well out of reach for his receivers. He shouldn’t be written off entirely by the team after one rough start that clearly was marred by injury.
But coach Kyle Shanahan also is an offense-first coach, and he certainly will want to have a QB he can rely on taking snaps week in and week out. If Garoppolo’s play doesn’t improve or he remains hampered by that ankle as the season wears on, Shanahan’s trust in his QB could wane.
There’s plenty of time left for Garoppolo and the 49ers to turn things around, but if things don’t improve soon, there could be some major personnel changes coming for the organization.