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The Shanaplan Podcast: Why Trey Lance doesn’t need to sit a year

Butler v North Dakota State Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

In today’s episode, we break down the final quarterback we’ll be discussing: North Dakota State QB Trey Lance, who seems like the forgotten man. Lance is suffering from “out of sight, out of mind.” He played in one showcase game this past season, but how could we forget what Lance did in 2019?

As a teenager, he threw 28 touchdowns with zero interceptions and ran for over 1,100 yards. Lance falls into the category of an exceptional athlete. He didn’t run a 40-yard dash, but you’ll hear us talk about a sports performance trainer who works with Lance said he runs in the 4.5’s routinely.

Lance has a chance to be remarkable. He’s pegged as a player who needs to sit a year, and I could not disagree with that take any more than I do. For me, Lance needs to play. That’s how he’ll improve, and that’s how he’ll fix any issues he has. A lot of what you see with Lance comes down to the lack of reps.

By playing more, Lance’s timing, anticipation, and mechanics will improve. He’ll have a better understanding of what he can and can’t get away with, and Lance will understand when to pull the trigger — which is something he must improve on, his aggression as a thrower.

When you ask people why Lance must sit a year, it comes back to his age or the school he played at. There are no tangible factors listed. Ever. NDSU had a linebacker transfer to LSU. He was a two-time FCS All-American, and now, after a year with the Tigers, Jabril Cox’s stock didn’t change. He’s going to be a top-50 pick.

We ignore Lance making changes at the line of scrimmage to the play and protection. That, plus him knowing where to go with the football, tells me Lance is ready to play. His traits speak for themselves, but Lance’s mind is why he’s a prodigy in my eyes.

You can listen to the episode in its entirety below, where Akash and myself talk about why Lance will fail, succeed, and how he fits in the 49ers offense. We also talked about some of the players who Lance compares to. There isn’t an easy comp, but he’s as close to Donovan McNabb as it gets.