With Brock Purdy recovering from elbow surgery and Trey Lance probably being bad at football, the San Francisco 49ers are gearing up for another weird season. As such, it’s becoming more and more likely that the Niners will rely on Sam Darnold, infamous draft bust and known mononucleosis haver. While the 49ers are so talented and Kyle Shannahan is such a good play-caller that it’s almost irrelevant who the quarterback is, Sam Darnold isn’t exactly anybody’s idea of a Super Bowl winning quarterback. That is, unless you’re Matt Maiocco, the Niners’ beat writer for NBC Sports Bay Area.

“He might be — can I say this — the most talented thrower of the football that the 49ers have ever had,” Maiocco said during an appearance on local sports talk radio show 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.”

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While Matt Maiocco’s take seems crazy (Sam Darnold isn’t even better than Jimmy Garoppalo, let alone 49ers legends like Joe Montana and Steve Young), he insisted that he isn’t alone on Darnold Island. “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.”