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Matt Maiocco says Sam Darnold ‘might be most talented thrower of football 49ers have ever had’



© Kim Klement | 2023 Jan 1

Sam Darnold has certainly been getting a lot of buzz since the 49ers decided to sign him this offseason.

There have been reports that the former No. 3 overall pick is the overwhelming favorite to win the starting job with Brock Purdy unlikely to be available for Week 1.

Based on what Matt Maiocco had to say on KNBR on Thursday, there is some reason to believe that Darnold might be more than just an acquisition for depth.

“He might be — can I say this — the most talented thrower of the football that the 49ers have ever had,” Maiocco said much to the shock of Murph & Mac. “Let’s just put him in the very high echelon of guys who can just drop back in the pocket and throw the football. I think that he hasn’t really had any chance to succeed since his college days are over. I think he’s had four head coaches in five years, five offensive coordinators in five years. He’s a talented guy.”

A 49ers legend who once played with Darnold also had positive things to say.

“Frank Gore popped his head in at the 49ers local pro day, and was like ‘You will be shocked at what you see from Sam Darnold,’” Maiocco said. “Frank Gore is a Sam Darnold guy. They spent one year together with the Jets, and he just felt like he didn’t have any chance to succeed.”

Darnold is only 25 years old, but was already considered a bust by many after flaming out with two teams. Darnold was hard to judge in New York on a terrible Jets team, and dealt with injuries during the last two seasons with the Panthers.

It should be noted that Darnold looked pretty good in the six games he started last season, winning four of them and posting a 93.6 QB rating that would be his career best if extended for a full season.

“He’s a really talented guy,” Maiocco said. “And how this whole thing shakes out nobody knows, but he does things better than Brock Purdy. He does things better than Trey Lance. But also Brock Purdy and Trey Lance do things better than him. Brock Purdy has already had more success than both of those two guys combined. Certainly talking to John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, it is Brock Purdy’s job to lose.

“All things being equal, Brock Purdy would be the starting quarterback Week 1 for the 49ers, however, all things aren’t equal. That opens up a huge set of circumstances and what ifs that we don’t know who is going to be the starting quarterback for the 49ers Week 1, and whoever, if it’s someone other than Brock Purdy, that person just runs with it and plays great football, then how eager are the 49ers to make a change?

“It’s going to be another crazy season.”

Listen to the full interview above. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Catch Murph & Mac weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.