Is Mac Jones the Right Guy to Replace Jimmy Garoppolo at San Francisco 49ers?

Published 03/30/2021, 9:11 AM EDT
MIAMI, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 02: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a touchdown of his team against the Kansas City Chiefs during the third quarter in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers made their intentions clear to the world by trading with the Miami Dolphins for the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. They’re looking to draft a new quarterback to replace current starter Jimmy Garoppolo. 


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The franchise had acquired Jimmy Garoppolo back in 2017 from the New England Patriots. With the QB, the franchise made it to Super Bowl LIV only to lose out to the Kansas City Chiefs

A starting caliber-QB, Garoppolo, though, has issues. Being injury prone and having a high turnover rate has not worked in his favor. And missing out on the majority of the 2020 season, the 49ers are looking to move on. 


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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 01: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on before their game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 01, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The franchise has a couple of quality options to consider. With the 3rd pick, the franchise will possibly have a pool of QBs including the likes of Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Zach Wilson to choose from.

But one name that often goes under the radar is that of Alabama’s Mac Jones. The quarterback’s draft stock isn’t as high as his compatriots, but he’s a good QB prospect none the less. But is he good enough to possibly be the 49ers’ next QB1?

Is Mac Jones the heir to Jimmy Garoppolo?  

Jimmy Garoppolo has been a key tool to Head Coach Kyle Shanahan’s West Coast offense. Whenever he is fit to play that is. Over the past three seasons, Garoppolo has missed 23 games. 

This is obviously a key factor in the 49ers attempting to trade a new QB. And in Mac Jones, they have someone who could fit like a glove into the system.


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Shanahan has always preferred having a passer who can drop back deep and execute plays rather than extending them himself. Jones has the ability to do that. 

He’s done it multiple times in the past for Alabama. His accurate arm is also something that will help Shanahan get the most out of an offense that thrives on making mismatches against the defense.

The only concern regarding Mac Jones is his ability to evade the pass rush. When the pocket collapses, we’ve seen Jimmy Garoppolo struggle to make room for a play. 

Jones is arguably not as gifted as his compatriots when it comes to scrambling, but he can get the job done. His tape for Alabama is evidence of the same. But whether he can negate the pass rush of an NFL defense remains to be seen. 

Jan 28, 2021; Mobile, Alabama, USA; American quarterback Mac Jones of Alabama (10) drills during American practice at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Mac Jones isn’t quite the entertainer like Fields, Wilson, or Lance. But he sure knows how to lead an offense to the endzone.


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The 49ers had a largely successful season in 2019 with Garoppolo fit. It showed that the team can excel with a passer that is patient enough to wait and throw the ball from the pocket, rather than someone who runs it himself when his targets aren’t open.  

But if not Mac Jones, who do you feel the 49ers should draft in to replace Jimmy Garoppolo?


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Shivayan Roy

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Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.