49ers' Raheem Mostert: 'I Believe Jimmy Garoppolo Will Be Our Starting QB' in 2021

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 2, 2021

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (31) runs the ball during an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

The San Francisco 49ers turned heads this offseason by moving up to the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL draft, but running back Raheem Mostert doesn't expect any drastic changes when it comes to the starting quarterback spot in the early going of the 2021 campaign.

"I believe Jimmy Garoppolo will be our starting quarterback going into this season," he said on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (h/t Michael Fabiano of Sports Illustrated).

Injuries have limited Garoppolo for much of his career, including when he made just six starts in the 2020 season, but he isn't that far removed from leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl during the 2019 campaign.

Yet much of the credit for that run goes to the defense, and Garoppolo is remembered for his missed throw to Emmanuel Sanders that could have been the winning touchdown of the Super Bowl almost as much as his 13-3 record as a starter during the regular season.

Garoppolo is also under contract through just the 2022 season and may not be the long-term answer in San Francisco.

Given all that context, it is easy to speculate that the 49ers will take a quarterback with their first pick of the 2021 NFL draft. It became even easier when they traded the No. 12 pick of this year's draft, first- and third-round picks in 2022 and a first-rounder in 2023 to the Miami Dolphins for the No. 3 pick.

Miami then turned around and flipped that No. 12 pick, a fourth-round pick and a 2022 first-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 6 pick and a fifth-round pick this year.

That the 49ers would trade all that draft capital just to move up nine spots suggests they probably have their eyes on a franchise quarterback, whether it be Ohio State's Justin Fields, BYU's Zach Wilson, Alabama's Mac Jones or North Dakota State's Trey Lance.

Mostert notably said he thinks Garoppolo will be the starter "going into" the season, which leaves the door open for a rookie to learn under the veteran in the initial part of the campaign and eventually take over as the starter.