Backup NFL Quarterbacks Who Could Win on the 49ers

We know Jimmy Garoppolo is one of them.
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) throws the ball
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) throws the ball / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The current backup quarterback for the Rams, Jimmy Garoppolo, had a 38-17 record with the 49ers before he crashed and burned as the Raiders starting quarterback.

How many other backup NFL quarterbacks could win if they were the starter for the 49ers? Let's go through all 32 backups and find out.

Desmond Ridder, Arizona Cardinals. He went 6-7 with the Falcons last season, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Sam Howell, Seattle Seahawks. He led the league in interceptions and sacks last season while losing 13 games for Washington, so there's no indication he could anywhere.

Jimmy Garoppolo, Los Angeles Rams. We know he can win with the 49ers because he did so aleady.

Joshua Dobbs, San Francisco 49ers. He went 2-2 last season with the Vikings, so yeah, he probably can win with the 49ers, at least for a few weeks.

Michael Penix Jr., Atlanta Falcons. He's just a rookie, but he threw nearly 1,700 passes in college and he's good in the pocket, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Kyle Trask, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has thrown 10 passes in his career and completed just 3 of them, so no, he probably couldn't win on the 49ers.

Jake Haener, New Orleans Saints. He never has thrown a pass in his professional career, but he completed more than 68 percent of his passes in college, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Andy Dalton, Carolina Panthers. He'll be 37 in October and he hasn't had a winning season since he was 29, so no, he probably couldn't win on the 49ers at this stage of his career.

Hendon Hooker, Detroit Lions. He threw 80 TD passes and just 12 interceptions in college, plus he beat Alabama, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Sean Clifford, Green Bay Packers. He wasn't even good in college, so no, he probably couldn't win on the 49ers.

Tyson Bagent, Chicago Bears. He was 2-2 on the Bears last season, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

J.J. McCarthy, Minnesota Vikings. He went undefeated while playing in Jim Harbaugh's pro-style system at Michigan last season, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Drew Lock, New York Giants. He's 9-14 in his career on bad teams, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Cooper Rush, Dallas Cowboys. He's 5-1 in his career, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Kenny Pickett, Philadelphia Eagles. He's 14-10 in his career, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Marcus Mariota, Washington Commanders. He beat the 49ers two seasons ago, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

AFC

Carson Wentz, Kansas City Chiefs. He's 4-1 in his career against the 49ers, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Easton Stick, Los Angeles Chargers. He's 0-4 in his career, so no, he probably couldn't win on the 49ers.

Zach Wilson, Denver Broncos. He's freaking terrible, so no, he probably couldn't win on the 49ers or anywhere.

Gardner Minshew, Las Vegas Raiders. He was 7-6 last season with the Colts, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Case Keenum, Houston Texans. He's 30-36 in his career and he has been to an NFC Championship game, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Mac Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars. He was 18-24 on a bad Patriots team, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Joe Flacco, Indianapolis Colts. He was 4-1 last season with the Browns, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Mason Rudolph, Tennessee Titans. He's 8-4-1 in his career, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Josh Johnson, Baltimore Ravens. He's 1-8 in his career and he was terrible with the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, so no, he probably couldn't win on the 49ers.

Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals. He led the NFL in completion percentage last season, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Jameis Winston, Cleveland Browns. He was 6-4 the past few seasons with the Saints, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Justin Fields, Pittsburgh Steelers. He's 10-28 in his career and he doesn't process coverages quicky, so no, he probably couldn't win on the 49ers.

Mitchell Trubisky, Buffalo Bills. He's 31-26 in his career, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Mike White, Miami Dolphins. He's 29 and has won only two games in the NFL, so no, he probably couldn't win on the 49ers.

Tyrod Taylor, New York Jets. He's 28-28-1 in his career, so yeah, he probably could win on the 49ers.

Drake Maye, New England Patriots. He's a rookie who's a project, so no, he probably couldn't win on the 49ers, at least not right away.

By my count, 21 of the 32 backup quarterbacks in the NFL could win on the 49ers, as well as 31 of 32 starters.

Good to know.


Published
Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN

Grant Cohn has covered the San Francisco 49ers daily since 2011. He spent the first nine years of his career with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat where he wrote the Inside the 49ers blog and covered famous coaches and athletes such as Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Willis. In 2012, Inside the 49ers won Sports Blog of the Year from the Peninsula Press Club. In 2020, Cohn joined FanNation and began writing All49ers. In addition, he created a YouTube channel which has become the go-to place on YouTube to consume 49ers content. Cohn's channel typically generates roughly 3.5 million viewers per month, while the 49ers' official YouTube channel generates roughly 1.5 million viewers per month. Cohn live streams almost every day and posts videos hourly during the football season. Cohn is committed to asking the questions that 49ers fans want answered, and providing the most honest and interactive coverage in the country. His loyalty is to the reader and the viewer, not the team or any player or coach. Cohn is a new-age multimedia journalist with an old-school mentality, because his father is Lowell Cohn, the legendary sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1979 to 1993. The two have a live podcast every Tuesday. Grant Cohn grew up in Oakland and studied English Literature at UCLA from 2006 to 2010. He currently lives in Oakland with his wife.