Working on the offensive line story for the magazine, I was surprised to see how poorly some numbers reflected on San Francisco's line. They've got a good pair of tackles in Joe Staley and last year's first-rounder Mike McGlinchey, Weston Richburg is a serviceable center, and they recently re-upped with their guards. So troubling to see that only Houston allowed more hits on their quarterback last year than the 49ers.

San Francisco started a pair of young quarterbacks most of last season, but preferred starter Jimmy Garoppolo also had some problems. I have per-game sack totals, not hit totals, but Garoppolo fared poorly. In his three starts he was sacked 13 times, an average of more than 4 per game. C.J. Beathard was sacked 18 times in his six games (3 per game). Enough to get me a little concerned about the line in front of those guys.

But Nick Mullens started eight games last year, and he was much less sack-prone. He was dropped just 17 times in those contests, so 2 per game. That was a little better than average among the 32 quarterbacks who started at least half the time. Ian ran that table over the weekend; it can be seen right here.

And although Garappolo was very sack-prone in his three games last season, that's a very small sample set. If you go back and look at the 2017 numbers, when Garoppolo started five games (and famously, won all of them), he was sacked just 8 times. That was one of the lowest rates in the league, among quarterbacks who attempted at least 100 passes. Note who shows up with one of the higher rates in the league, playing behind the same line: Beathard.

PlayerAttSackSack %
Philip Rivers, LAC575183.1%
Drew Brees, N.O.536203.7%
Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.561213.7%
Derek Carr, Oak.515203.9%
Ryan Fitzpatrick, T.B.16374.3%
Drew Stanton, Ariz.15974.4%
Jimmy Garoppolo, S.F.17884.5%
Matt Ryan, Atl.529244.5%
Case Keenum, Den.481224.6%
Blake Bortles, Jac.523244.6%
Jay Cutler, Mia.429204.7%
Joe Flacco, Balt.549274.9%
Nick Foles, Phil.10155.0%
Jared Goff, LAR477255.2%
Eli Manning, NYG571315.4%
Mike Glennon, Ariz.14085.7%
Brock Osweiler, Mia.172105.8%
Marcus Mariota, Ten.453276.0%
Tom Brady, N.E.581356.0%
Carson Wentz, Phil.440286.4%
Dak Prescott, Dall.490326.5%
Alex Smith, Wash.505356.9%
Cam Newton, Car.492357.1%
Bryce Petty, NYJ11287.1%
Jameis Winston, T.B.442337.5%
Brian Hoyer, N.E.211167.6%
Kirk Cousins, Min.540417.6%
Russell Wilson, Sea.553437.8%
Andy Dalton, Cin.496397.9%
DeShone Kizer, G.B.476388.0%
Carson Palmer, Ariz.267228.2%
Matthew Stafford, Det.565478.3%
C.J. Beathard, S.F.224198.5%
Brett Hundley, G.B.316299.2%
Aaron Rodgers, G.B.238229.2%
Deshaun Watson, Hou.204199.3%
Mitchell Trubisky, Chi.330319.4%
Tom Savage, Hou.223219.4%
Matt Moore, Mia.127129.4%
Trevor Siemian, Den.349339.5%
Josh McCown, NYJ397399.8%
Tyrod Taylor, Clev.4204611.0%
Jacoby Brissett, Ind.4695211.1%
Blaine Gabbert, Ten.1712313.5%

So I'm not too worried about San Francisco's line, or how Garoppolo will fare behind it. It looks like a solid group to me, and I think he'll be better at avoiding sacks than his brief 2018 track record indicates. As an aside, I think it's pretty clear that Mullens will be the backup in San Francisco this year. Beathard will either be the No. 3, or maybe on another roster.

--Andy Richardson