The Importance of Nick Mullens

Marco Martinez

How important is a good backup quarterback to NFL teams? 

Just ask the Philadelphia Eagles how important Nick Foles was in 2018 when they won the Superbowl. Now with Covid-19 and all the protocols in place, good backup quarterbacks are much more important than they have ever been. Meaning the value of Nick Mullens, who has starting experience and performed well in the 49ers offense for head coach Kyle Shanahan, is at an all-time high.

This year, most teams do not allow their quarterbacks in the same room as each other -- I'd assume the 49ers have taken the same precautions. Because if Jimmy Garoppolo were to get Covid-19, then the 49ers' Revenge Tour would be in the hands of Nick Mullens until Garoppolo recovers.

Mullens is more important than most think. He can become the starter immediately if something unfortunate happens during this pandemic. And he would probably start a minimum of two games if anything were to happen to Garoppolo. Two games can be the difference between the No. 1 seed with a Bye week versus No. 2 seed or lower.  

Mullens understands Shanahan's offense as he enters his fourth year in the system. He owns a record of three wins and five losses, with a team that had little to no talent. He has thrown for 2,277 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with a 64% completion percentage. 

Mullens would be able to keep the team competitive if Garoppolo was forced to miss time with the coronavirus. Mullens is so important, he was looked at by other teams as a trade target and the 49ers declined multiple offers and have made him untradeable.  Hopefully for the 49ers, Mullens doesn't have to see the field, as they already have their starting quarterback in place. But if needed, Mullens would be able to hold his own. 

Mullens is one of the best back up quarterbacks in the NFL. You even could argue he's one of the 32 best quarterbacks, meaning he is better than some teams' starters. Mullens has the IQ, grit, work ethic and the "BDN energy," as Richard Sherman would say. 

Mullens is just waiting to be allowed to run his own team if ever given the chance. He's waiting to be freed from backup duties. His time will come.

Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.
Comments (11)
No. 1-2

Marco, good analysis and I agree that Mullins could surprise a lot of people if allowed to play. I also expect him to be a starter in the future.
Your writing is good but the video was so choppy (for me, maybe not everyone) that it was unintelligible. Have a serious talk with the tech people. I would also suggest that you slow down your delivery, I expect nerves may be a part of this but work on it.


I just hope and pray I never see CJ Beathard starting a game for the 49ers again. Yes Mullens may win a game or two if Garoppolo misses time but no way they could get to a SB with Mullens. There’s a reason he went undrafted