If you want to feel old, North Dakota State QB Trey Lance was born after Tom Brady was drafted in 2000. Are we ruling out Lance to the 49ers prematurely? Every prominent media member says the team plans on keeping Jimmy Garoppolo for 2021.
If the team is only willing to part ways with Jimmy G for a first-rounder, that would mean they’re planning to keep their signal-caller, barring a team getting desperate. If that’s true, based on everything we’ve seen from Lance, why wouldn’t he be the pick?
Lance is a much better prospect than many realize. In most drafts, he’d be in the running for QB1. I think some of it comes down to being “out of sight and out of mind” since Lance didn’t play a full season in 2020. You have to remember that he was 19-years old and put up this stat line at a major FCS school:
Twenty-eight touchdowns compared to zero interceptions with a 67% completion percentage on 9.7 yards per attempt. Lance had a 133 IQR, per Sports Info Solutions, which is a better version of QBR. For reference, Zach Wilson’s IQR was 138.6 this past season, and Justin Fields was 123.5.
When you exclude sacks, Lance ran for 1,159 yards and averaged 7.4 yards per attempt. Everyone seems to gloss over the fact that Lance is a superior runner to just about any eligible quarterback in the past decade.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Lance had scheduled his second pro day for April 19, which is en days before the draft. Since there are no private workouts allowed this year, any team could show up and watch. You can count on Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch, and the 49ers’ brass to be in attendance.
We’ll be sure to break down every facial expression from Shanahan and compare it to Justin Fields and Mac Jones pro days. All jokes aside, as much as we’ve talked about Fields, I’d love Lance and don’t think the price the Niners paid to move up is too rich for a talent like his. I struggle to see a scenario where Lance fails at the next level. With the Shanahan bump, he’d be a star.