Despite having two potential franchise quarterbacks under the age of 24 on the roster, veteran free agent signee Sam Darnold is firmly planted in the race for 49ers QB1 heading into training camp.
On the latest 49ers Web Zone “No Huddle” podcast, hosts Al Sacco and Zain Naqvi discussed the situation under center and the biggest problem with Darnold.
“If Sam Darnold does have to start early – everybody seems to think that Kyle Shanahan is a cure-all for Sam Darnold, he’s gonna be fine,” Sacco said. “You can’t fix QBs who turn the ball over. … He’s still a very turnover prone quarterback. Even Kyle Shanahan cannot escape that.”
As Sacco noted, Darnold has 68 career turnovers (55 touchdowns, 13 fumbles lost) in 56 career games and a 21-34 record as a starter. Those aren’t exactly sparkling numbers for Darnold, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal this season with $7 million more in incentives.
Still, the 25-year-old seems to be in the mix with Trey Lance for QB1 reps in training camp. Lance has been making good progress on the practice field, according to the team, while Purdy is expected to be out until the regular season as he rehabs his UCL.
“If Purdy is Purdy, I think they’re gonna be fine,” Sacco said. “Even with Lance I think they can win games, because Lance will take care of the ball and I don’t think Kyle’s really gonna put him in a position where he’s gonna throw a lot.”