Jimmy Garoppolo's first and only drive with the 49ers showed they may have gotten a steal from the Patriots

  • On Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo saw his first action since being traded to the San Francisco 49ers.
  • On Garoppolo's first drive, he completed both of his passes, had four rushing yards, and finished the drive with an impressive touchdown throw.
  • While one drive doesn't mean much, Garoppolo showed the poise and accuracy that had many believing that he would eventually be the heir-apparent to Tom Brady in New England.


On Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo saw his first action as a member of the San Francisco 49ers and he did not disappoint.

After the New England Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick, he spent his first few weeks as a backup to rookie C.J. Beathard. While the 49ers almost surely dealt for Garoppolo to make him their future franchise quarterback, head coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo needed time to learn the offense.

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Jimmy Garoppolo with the San Francisco 49ers
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Jimmy Garoppolo with the San Francisco 49ers
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up before the regular season game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA (Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks on during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks on from the sidelines during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) walks back to the locker room during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 5: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks over plays on his wristband in the locker room prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 20-10. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up with the football prior to the start of an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up with the football on the sidelines during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers enters the game late in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks late in their NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Seahawks won the game 24-13. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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That opportunity came in Week 12 when Beathard got hurt during a 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

With the game already out of reach, Garoppolo came in with 1:11 remaining. Though the sample size was limited, Garoppolo looked like a promising young quarterback who spent years learning under Tom Brady.

His first play was a short four-year scramble on third down to get a first down.


He then completed an eight-yard pass on the next play. With the 49ers down to Seattle's 10-yard line, he stood strong in the pocket, avoided pressure, and threw a bullet pass for a touchdown while rolling out to his left.


"That looks very Tom Brady-ish, right, stand in the pocket, confident," one of the announcers remarked.

Garoppolo's 49ers career, so far: 2-of-2 passing, 18 yards, one touchdown.

Of course, one garbage-time drive doesn't mean much, but Garoppolo's poise and accuracy portend success as a full-time starter. Garoppolo looked good to great in flashes with the Patriots, and they were apparently sold enough on his talent that they viewed him as Tom Brady's eventual successor (if only Brady hadn't defied aging).

Furthermore, even in what's considered a talented quarterback draft class in 2018, it's unlikely that the 49ers could have gotten a better prospect than Garoppolo with the second-round pick they sent the Patriots. That Garoppolo spent the first three years of his career learning under Brady and Bill Belichick only enhances his value.

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Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo
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Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 22: Tom Brady #12 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots run onto the field before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Gillette Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JUNE 17: The New England Patriots held a minicamp at the practice field at Gillette Stadium. Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo kick their legs up during warmups. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
June 19, 2014: Patriots' Jimmy Garoppolo (10) tosses a pass under the watchful eye of Tom Brady (12). The New England Patriots held their Mini Camp at the Patriots Practice Facility in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
RICHMOND VA, AUGUST 4: New England quarterback Tom Brady (12), left, fires off a pass as back up quarterback's Ryan Mallett (15), center, and Jimmy Garoppolo (10) wait their turn during day 12 of the Washington Redskins training camp practicing with the New England Patriots in Richmond VA, August 4, 2014. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 29: New England Patriots quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo head on to the field for pre-game warm-ups before they played the Kansas City Chiefs on September 29, 2014. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 5: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, Matthew Slater and Jimmy Garoppolo warm up before the game between the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots take the field prior to Super Bowl XLVIII at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 30: Quarterbacks Tom Brady #12 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots take the field for warm ups to the NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 30, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Patriots 26-21. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
February 4, 2015: The Patriots quarterback tandem, Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady. The New England Patriots paraded through the streets of Boston to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
27 DEC 2015: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks with New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) prior to the game between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford,NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 3: Quarerbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady hung out after practice to work together on some long passes. The New England Patriots continued their Training Camp on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on August 3, 2016. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 29: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, and Jimmy Garoppolo managed smile as they were back at it during passing drills on the second day of New England Patriots training camp at the practice fields at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on July 29, 2016. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 9: Quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots talk on the sidelines during the final minutes of the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Patriots defeated the Browns 33-13. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills on October 30, 2016 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. New England defeats Buffalo 41-25. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: Tom Brady #12 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots warm up before a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Gillette Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 5: Jimmy Garoppolo congratulates Tom Brady after the Patriots' win. The Atlanta Falcons play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 07: Quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots during the Victory Parade through the streets of Boston on February 7, 2017, in Boston, Massachusetts to celebrate winning Super Bowl LI. (Photo by Richard Cashin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 28: New England Patriots quarterbacks Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett run an agility course during the second day of training camp at the Gillette Stadium practice field in Foxborough, Mass., July 28, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 31: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady #12 react before a preseason game with the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25, 2017: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 prior to a preseason game on August 25, 2017 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New England won 30-28. (Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 22: Tom Brady #12 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots walk through the tunnel before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Gillette Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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The 49ers face the Chicago Bears in Week 13, and if Garoppolo gets the start, it will be interesting to see if a defense with a full week of scheming can dull some of his shine.

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