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Andy Benoit: Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo among 15 backups better than Colin Kaepernick

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The only quarterback this offseason mentioned more than Jimmy Garoppolo? You guessed it...

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Opinions on the Colin Kaepernick situation are like birthdays — everybody has one.

In a piece published Wednesday by MMQB’s Andy Benoit, Patriots second-string quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was the first name listed on a ledger of 15 current NFL backups.

Let me amend myself—there are actually 15 backup quarterbacks better than Kaepernick, and that doesn’t even include rookies Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer and Davis Webb.

The list, in no particular order:

Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots

Matt Moore, Dolphins

Colt McCoy, Washington

A.J. McCarron, Bengals

Chad Henne, Jaguars

Geno Smith, Giants

Drew Stanton, Cardinals

Brock Osweiler/Cody Kessler, Browns

Chase Daniel, Saints

Derek Anderson, Panthers

Nick Foles, Eagles

Ryan Mallett, Ravens

Matt Barkley, 49ers

Landry Jones, Steelers

Matt Cassel, Titans

Benoit, an analyst known for his film reviews on every NFL game that takes place over the course of the season, stated Kaepernick’s inability to perform from the pocket as the primary reason for his take.

Inside the NFL, this is where 90% of the discussion about Kaepernick begins and ends. Playing from the pocket is not a quarterbacking attribute; it’s a prerequisite. If a team’s QB can’t play from the pocket, the vast majority of the play designs won’t work. Coaches can’t draw up plays that call for the quarterback to break down, run around and hopefully find an open guy. Today’s defenses are too good for that.

Benoit of course came under fire from the now enormous pro-Kaepernick crowd on Twitter, prompting Peter King to come to his writer’s defense in a five part thread.

However, lost in the skirmish was the fact that, even though listed “in no particular order”, Jimmy Garoppolo was the first name Benoit’s keyboard rattled off as he generated his top 15 backup quarterback list.

Albeit only through a couple of OTA and minicamp practices, Garopollo has struggled slightly to find his rhythm so far. But the fourth-year former second-round pick should easily be considered the best backup quarterback in football.

What’s unfortunate about the entire Kaepernick situation is how it has become a microcosm of the political discussion in America. Some topics can simply no longer be mentioned without the masses irrationally making a beeline for one of the two farthest sides of the argument, where they dig their heels in, and then hurl insults and slander not only at the voices on the other side, but at those who simply want to discuss it professionally at a safe point somewhere in the middle.

While you may not agree with Andy Benoit’s football analysis, no one can discount the amount of hard work and dedication he puts towards his craft.

As for the Kaepernick situation? Regardless of what side of the argument you are on, realize that the answer is likely somewhere in the middle.

Follow Brian Phillips on Twitter - @BPhillips_NFL