Former NFL quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan, who started eight games for the 49ers in 2008, has become a popular figure in the media during this past draft cycle as O’Sullivan’s QB breakdowns on his YouTube channel is far and away from the best QB content on the internet. You can learn a lot from watching ‘The QB School.’
J.T. joined our friends over at Turf Show Times to talk about the NFC West quarterbacks. When it came to Trey Lance, O’Sullivan believes he’ll have an immediate impact on the 49ers, and he’ll be a dangerous quarterback in the NFC West for years to come.
J.T. was asked how fearful should the rest of the division be towards Lance and whether he’d make an impact in 2021:
I think it’s one of my favorite storylines of this upcoming NFL season. If you don’t know anything about the program he came from at North Dakota State, it’s probably the premier FCS football. They play football at a very high level. They’re the “pro-style offense” where he’s doing things under center. He’s doing things that translate to Sundays.
You’re right on about no current or recent film that made his projection more difficult. It’s a big jump from being a 19-year-old playing for the first time in college to coming out of the draft 18 months later. You can get significantly better, and I think it’s a fascinating pick for the Niners.
They obviously gave up a lot to make it happen, but they have to be feeling great about what he brings to the organization. There will certainly be some learning pains as well, just like there is for anybody playing the position that’s young in the league.
It will be fascinating to see, but man, in a half a decade, he could be causing all sorts of issues for that division.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Lance is that because he played for a “small school,” that he won’t be as ready as other quarterbacks.
Throughout the draft process, we harped that Lance was more pro-ready than any quarterback coming out based on the offense he ran. Some of Lance’s greatest strengths is seeing the field, going through progressions, and knowing where to go with the football.
I tend to side with the group that believes the 49ers gave up too much for Lance, but that’s water under the bridge now. All that matters is whether or not Lance can play. Having Lance sit a year won’t prevent him from going through growing pains.
People believe Lance had the highest upside in the draft because of his talent, traits, and his character, not because he’s a project. As OTAs and minicamp are around the corner, keep an eye on the rep count at quarterback.
Then, once training camp rolls along, that’ll be the best tell for us to gauge how close Lance is to playing. If he’s splitting the reps 90/10 with Jimmy Garoppolo and we’re in mid-August, then that’s a sign Lance isn’t close to playing.
If it’s more 65/35 where Lance is getting reps with the first team, then the 49ers first round investment should be on the field sooner than later. The unknown is what makes this position battle fascinating. It can go in a number of ways, and we’ll get to watch it all play out right in front of us.
You can listen to the entire interview here. They discuss Lance at the nine-minute mark.