Earlier this week, head coach Kyle Shanahan said that the team is handing the keys over to the 6-foot-4 quarterback.
Kyle Shanahan told reporters that the 49ers have moved on from Jimmy Garoppolo. pic.twitter.com/AAT9ifr5YI
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) July 26, 2022
Shanahan added that he, Lance, and incumbent starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are all on the same page about the team’s plans.
Lance was the third overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft, and the 49ers were so enamored with his potential that they traded four draft picks in order to put themselves in position to nab him.
Given his size, athleticism, and arm strength, he is thought to have tremendous potential, and some in the Niners’ camp have said some glowing things about him.
Steve Young on Trey Lance:
"He needs to prove to all of us that he's an elite deliverer of the football. I really believe he's already an elite processor of quarterbacking."
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) July 19, 2022
2x All-Pro TE George Kittle’s comparison for Trey Lance?
Josh Allen ⭐️
“He can move the chains whether it’s his feet, he’s a big body and can take hits, he wants to make plays, he’s got a cannon of an arm… he’s got an insane ceiling.”
— Neer Ray (@NeerRayNFL) April 25, 2022
However, potential and actual production are two very different things, and we won’t know just how good or great a signal-caller Lance is until he has been under center for a while in a number of different situations.
But it appears he has the tools to be very successful.
However, Lance will be under lots of pressure this season, and some of it will be simply because he plays for the 49ers.
Lance Is An Outstanding Prospect
One knock against Lance is that he hasn’t played as much organized football as other QBs going into their second pro season.
After getting only spot duty as a freshman at North Dakota State University, he played in 16 contests in 2019 and recorded 2,786 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns (against zero interceptions), 1,100 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.
But his 2020 season was limited to one game due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yes, Lance played against lesser competition in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) of the NCAA, but he did lead his team to the national championship and was named the most valuable player of the title contest.
Last season, as an NFL rookie, he appeared in only six contests for San Francisco and started just two of them, but he showed flashes of what he can become.
He showed he can deliver the ball to his receivers on long-distance passes, an ability Garoppolo doesn’t really have.
In addition, Lance is mobile, as he appears to be able to maneuver outside of the pocket and get to the open areas of the field, where he can run for first downs.
— NFL (@NFL) July 27, 2022
What isn’t clear at this point is how well he will do when in the pocket or when simply pressured by members of the opposing team’s front seven.
But the potential is clearly there for a special QB.
The Niners Have Lots Of Talent
It’s hard enough becoming a starting QB in the NFL, but it’s even harder when one is on a team that has the type of talent that can contend for a Super Bowl.
On top of that is the history and tradition of Joe Montana and Steve Young that will be hanging over Lance, and the expectations of a new championship era from fans who haven’t celebrated a world championship since the 1994 season.
While the rest of the team is young, it’s time for Lance to get out there and either sink or swim.