Sam Darnold Can Bring The 49ers Back To The NFC Championship, Says Dan Orlovsky

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Orlovsky believes Darnold can get the 49ers back in the NFC title game originally appeared nbc sports birea

When he's not on the court with his new 49ers teammates in NBA playoff gamesNew San Francisco quarterback Sam Darnold is getting great support from well-informed sports pundits like Dan Orlovsky.

The pecking order of the 49ers' QB room — Darnold, Trey Lance, Brock Purdy and Now Brandon Allen – That remains to be seen, but Orlovsky believes that if given the opportunity, Darnold has what it takes to help the 49ers reach their third straight NFC Championship game during the 2023 NFL season.

“Sam Darnold is fully capable of taking this team back to the NFC Championship Game,” Orlovsky said Monday during “Get ” on ESPN. “'m so excited to see him if he has a little bang with Brock Purdy in San Francisco. Finally in a place where there's coaching, offensive talent, the whole team to allow their talent — one of them.” Best talent we've seen coming out of the college over the years.

“I'm very excited, and I think he can be the guy that gets them back to the NFC Championship Game.”

There is a bit of uncertainty surrounding the 49ers' QB depth chart for the upcoming season, which is nothing new for the 49ers faithful. Purdy, who came under center as a in 2022 after injuries to Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, is scheduled to start throwing in early June after undergoing elbow surgery in March.

23 year old mr. Irrelevant was in the NFL spotlight last season, making his Week 13 debut, leading the 49ers to eight straight wins en route to an NFC Championship appearance against the Philadelphia Eagles. His March surgery was the result of a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which he sustained in his throwing elbow during the title game.

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Lance, who was taken No. 3 overall by San Francisco in the NFL Draft, is himself returning from a broken ankle and is eager to bounce back after missing true starting experience last season due to his injury.

Then there's Darnold, who recently made the 49ers signed a one year contract in free agency and who was originally considered the third quarterback on the roster, or even placed on the practice squad.

A lot is still up in the air when it comes to who will actually start For Week 1 coming to San Francisco, ruling out veteran Darnold completely isn't entirely feasible as both Purdy and Lance look to perform post injury. And, according to Orlovsky, Darnold hasn't played on a stacked team like the 49ers before.

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The former No. 3 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, who turns 26 in June, spent his first three seasons with the New York Jets. He struggled mightily in his 38 starts, but on a team that never took the initiative to build their proposed franchise QB. then when he was traded for Carolina Panthers in 2020, they didn't find much organizational stability there.

It's a different story in Santa Clara, a well-oiled machine driven by an aggressive-minded coach. Developed by Kyle Shanahan A roster that competes year after year on both sides of the ball. Could this be Darnold's time to shine?

With Purdy's success last season and all the 49ers have invested in drafting Lance, this is a long shot. But Orlovsky certainly believes it's possible.

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