Before Trey Lance has even started rookie minicamp in the NFL, fans are already calling for him to be the starting quarterback. I am one of those fans. However, the people with more restraint are pointing to a recent situation involving a former 49ers quarterback of the future as evidence that waiting is the best option. That situation, of course, is Patrick Mahomes sitting behind Alex Smith in Kansas City before chucking 50 touchdown passes in year two. But how similar are the two situations, really? Niner Nate and Leo Luna dove into that idea and more in today’s Niner Nate-tion Podcast.
As Leo put it:
“A lot of people want to use that situation as an example. The difference is, the Chiefs had Alex Smith. Alex Smith was a former first overall pick and was playing at a high level in Kansas City. He was not missing games, not missing more than half a season, and he was getting his team into the playoffs. Plus, Patrick Mahomes came from an air raid offense into an Andy Reid offense, which is definitely not air raid. It’s an NFL offense, not a college one...I understand all the comparisons, but it’s not the same.”
Neither side of the comparison holds up well. Garoppolo has missed almost 50% of his potential starts and has only gotten to the playoffs one time. Plus, Trey Lance isn’t coming from an air raid system. He’s coming from a pro-style offense where he had a lot of responsibility at the line of scrimmage.
In addition, does anybody really believe that Patrick Mahomes would have stunk without sitting behind Alex Smith for 15 games? What the heck did Smith team him in that one year, the secrets of the universe? Besides, if sitting behind a veteran quarterback is such a surefire path to success, why hasn’t Jimmy Garoppolo been better? He had a front-row seat to one of the best and most durable quarterbacks of all time for years. Shouldn’t he be awesome by now?
Be sure to check out the whole episode to hear more on that and the guys’ reaction to the entire 2021 draft class. Please rate and review as well.
Other thoughts in today’s episode
- Why QB won’t be the only competition to watch this preseason
- What does this year’s draft class mean for the established vets on the roster?
- One UDFA that could make a huge impact right away