Kyle Shanahan: Sam Darnold is an unbelievable thrower and top talent

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The quarterback question in San Francisco this year has primarily been about whether Brock Purdy or Trey Lance is more likely to be the Week One starter. But to hear coach Kyle Shanahan tell it, the 49ers have three good quarterbacks.

Shanahan said today that Sam Darnold is an elite passer and still very much the talented quarterback who was the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Sam’s an unbelievable thrower. He was born to do that,” Shanahan said, via David Lombardi of “I truly see Sam talent-wise as a top pick in the draft, just like he was. You watch his whole career and there’s no reason to think differently. He hasn’t been in the best situations, so we’re glad to have him here. And I’m so glad he wanted to come here. He could’ve gone to a lot of different situations and probably made a lot more money.”

Shanahan said that Purdy currently deserves to be considered the top quarterback on the depth chart if healthy because of what he has accomplished, but Shanahan also believes that both Lance and Darnold are capable of accomplishing a lot if given the right opportunity.

“I do believe we have three quarterbacks talent-wise who are all capable of being franchise-like quarterbacks,” Shanahan said. “But that’s just capable . . . Brock’s done that in his eight [starts]. And we have two other guys on our roster who we strongly believe can do that also.”

If Purdy’s elbow isn’t fully healed in time for him to play Week One, Shanahan sounds like he’d be open to giving Darnold the start.

19 responses to “Kyle Shanahan: Sam Darnold is an unbelievable thrower and top talent

  1. I already said it once, he will be the starter come playoff time. Purdy was smoke and mirrors and his own coach knows they will figure him out. Darnold showed last year he has progressed and will do what Shanahan likes in this offense and that is distribute the ball.

  2. If it were any other head coach I’d laugh. If there is any coach that could get the most out of Darnold, it’s probably Shanahan.

  3. I’ve always wondered about Darnold’s true ceiling. Don’t know what it is, but I think we’ll get to see it under Shanahan.

  4. Pre-draft opinions won’t go away. I keep hearing how Sam darnold is elite. People need to move on. You’re wrong.

  5. Shanahan is just posturing for a trade before game one. Only question is which QB will be the one to go.

  6. Kyle is right.
    Sam Darnold is an unbelievable thrower and top talent.
    He is one of the top 50 to 60 QBs in the NFL.

  7. As we have seen time and time again, it’s not the arm hanging down from the shoulders, it’s the brain sitting on top of it.

  8. Kyle Shanahan has been to two super bowls with two different QB’s, and neither were elite. He nearly made it to number three this year, but his QB broke his arm. So, it’s safe to assume Kyle Shanahan can get to the super bowl with just about any halfway decent QB. He’s proven that. Well, Sam Darnold is the best QB Kyle has ever had. I’m anxious to see these guys play once Darnold gets the offense down. Kyle has also proven that he understands the personnel side of things quite well, and he’s saying Darnold hasn’t exactly been put in the greatest of situations. That’s the understatement of the year.

  9. Niners have had more QB injury games missed under Shanahan than any team in the NFL over a similar period.

    His offense is entirely predicated on rolling the dice with the QBs health being what gets crushed when they hit snake eyes.

    Jimmy G wasn’t Jimmy Glass – he was just Jimmy under a chuck and duck offensive scheme.

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