I recently listed all the ways 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens is better than Jimmy Garoppolo.
Here are the ways Garoppolo is better than Mullens:
1. Garoppolo is a better athlete than Mullens. He just is. Faster runner. Quicker release. Stronger arm. Can throw from more arm slots. Probably was a better baseball player and basketball player growing up as well. Although it seems Garoppolo's most athletic days might be behind him. He hasn't regained all the mobility and zip he had before he tore his ACL. But he's still more athletic than Mullens.
2. Garoppolo throws a prettier ball than Mullens. Garoppolo doesn't process information as quickly as Mullens, but Garoppolo makes up for slight lag time with his lightning quick release and the zip on his throws. Even if he's a bit late with his read, he still can fit passes into tight areas. And when he throws passes over the middle, they often are gorgeous. Mullens is effective, but doesn't have a gorgeous release or make gorgeous throws.
Other quarterbacks who throw or threw a gorgeous ball: Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, Kyler Murray, Joe Montana. Part of what's pleasing about football is the aesthetics of it. People doing what I can't do. People doing beautiful things. Jimmy is in line with the ceremony of the game. He throws a gorgeous ball and you feel privileged to see it.
3. Garoppolo has more improvisational skills than Mullens. Garoppolo likes when the play breaks down and he can buy time by scrambling. He likes to throw off his back foot or when his feet aren't set. He's a playground quarterback. Whereas Nick Mullens gets rid of the ball as quickly as possible and doesn't look to hold it and make plays outside the structure of the offense.
Garoppolo clearly should be the starter -- he has more experience, plus he led the 49ers to the Super Bowl last season. But if he misses lots of time this year, maybe Mullens can lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl, too. And win it.
The 49ers have two outstanding quarterbacks for their offense. Other teams should be so fortunate.