Jimmy Garoppolo spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday after the San Francisco 49ers drafted Trey Lance with the third overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, and it seems he's ready to help his new teammate.
Garoppolo has been the subject of trade rumors since the end of the 2020 season. The 29-year-old quarterback played in just six games last year after suffering a high ankle sprain, and 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan previously cited Garoppolo's injury history in their decision to seek out another passer.
Despite the new competition, Garoppolo is prepared to show his heir apparent what it takes to be an NFL starter.
"It's kind of coming full circle," Garoppolo said on the "Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin show" on ESPN Radio, according to ESPN's Nick Wagoner. "You go through this NFL career, and you start as a young guy coming in.
He added: "I try to use my own personal experiences and just what I went through, what helped me, what challenged me as a young player. I'm going to use those tools that helped me and try to help Trey out."
Drafted with high expectations when the New England Patriots selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft, Garoppolo entered the NFL in a similar position as Lance: He also found himself competing with an established veteran in future Hall of Fame passer Tom Brady.
"Tom kind of showed me the ropes. The competition between us was awesome," Garoppolo said. "It really made me grow as a rookie and as a young player.
"So, that's kind of what me and Trey - we'll mold our relationship into that. But it will happen naturally. It's one of those things you can't force anything. Just let it come as it may."
Garoppolo amassed 1,096 passing yards and seven touchdowns against five interceptions while completing 67% of his pass attempts across six contests in 2020.