The San Francisco 49ers made a ballsy move to trade up from No. 12 to No. 3 to select the quarterback who will be the face of the franchise for what the team hopes is the next decade. “No risk it, no biscuit,” as Bruce Arians says.
Many believe Trey Lance has the highest ceiling among draft-eligible quarterbacks. The same people will tell you that Lance needs to sit a year due to not having played as much, and even then only at the FCS level.
Throughout this draft process, that narrative has bugged me more than any, which is why we debunked it. The reps you take matter. From what you do at the line of scrimmage to knowing where your receivers are to how you handle pressure. All of it and everything in between gets evaluated, not just the end result. If the 49ers felt like Lance was this raw player, I doubt they’d sell the farm to trade up for the budding star.
"This is one of the most likable, approachable and magnetic personalities that I've been around" @JwPalms talks about the influence @treylance09 can have on the @49ers at the FOX Sports Draft Party (Sponsored by @Verizon) pic.twitter.com/KB5MkT2nRY— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) April 30, 2021
Lance, who is 20, will get better the more he plays. His issues will be solved by playing football, not by sitting on the bench. For my money, he’s the third-best QB in the draft, and he’s comfortably ahead of the next two after him. When you watch Lance, you can’t help but think of Josh Allen down the line.
While Lance has accuracy issues, he’s more accurate and a better prospect than Allen was coming out. In the interview embedded below, Lance told us that NFL teams said he must improve his accuracy, but also his aggression.
Lance didn’t throw any interceptions during 2019, but he also didn’t force the ball into tight spots like some of the other quarterbacks did. Since he’s aware of this, it’s easy to imagine Lance has been working on it during his offseason training.
Lance will undoubtedly be the most fun quarterback to cover out of the five potential first-rounders. It feels like he has the widest range of outcomes. He could take time to develop, hit the ground running, or end up being a solid option under center. Lance’s skillset makes me think his floor is a lot higher than people are giving credit. At worst, he’s a top-15 QB in the league three years from now, in my opinion.
How would you grade the pick? I love it. A-.