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McCloughan on Lance: Would I have spent two (first-round picks) for him? Absolutely not.

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2021 NFL Draft Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

My favorite part about post-draft analysis is getting outside points of view. Speaking to coaches and players to see what they would have done and how players fit with their new teams fascinate me.

On Thursday, we’ll have an interview with Ohio State’s running backs coach Anthony Alford. His insight on Trey Sermon is a must-read/listen. You’ll fall in love with Sermon after what Alford had to say.

Another reason why unique perspectives are interesting is due to the fact that there is no sugar-coating. The Athletic’s Matt Barrows had a fantastic conversation with former 49ers’ general manager Scot McCloughan, who was known as one of the top talent evaluators during his time. McCloughan went through each of the Niners’ selections.

Be sure to check out Matt’s entire article. We’ll talk about what everyone wants to talk about. Quarterback:

What are your thoughts on Lance?

Would I have spent two (first-round picks) for him? Absolutely not. Because there are way too many unknowns. Way too many. Would I have taken him anywhere in the teens without trading? Hands down, yes. I would have taken him for sure over Jones. And personally, I would have taken him over Wilson.

This quote will get many fans up in arms, but it’s a fair question.

Trading up for a quarterback, whether Lance, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, or anybody, comes with great risk. I’ve spoken to people that believe Trevor Lawrence was the only quarterback worth taking in the first round this year.

The opinions about these quarterbacks are all over the place and rarely align with what you see on TV. Honestly, I’d rather read opinions like McGloughan’s above as opposed to the same ones we see every day.

I’m with him about Wilson, and it’s not particularly close. McGloughan went on to compare Lance to Steve McNair and Dak Prescott, calling him a big, tough, and smart guy: “With Trey, there isn’t ever going to be one thing that you say he does the best. But he does everything good. And that’s plenty enough to win a championship.”

Finally, Scot spoke about how he likes the way Lance keeps his eyes downfield on broken plays:

He’d rather make the play throwing the ball than running the ball, which is very unique. Because as a one-year starter at that level (of college football), he could have flat-out dominated. He could have taken off every time he was under pressure. He’d rather stay in the pocket — or move around the pocket — and rather make the throws than run, which is cool. I think he’s got unique instincts to play the position.

Quarterback is all about instincts. Are you going through your progressions too quickly? Do you drop your eyes in the face of pressure? Can you process what the defense is doing in two seconds and pull the trigger on time?

That’s what Lance must do at the NFL level. Once he proves he can do that, he’ll compete with Jimmy Garoppolo for playing time. We know Lance has the athleticism to extend plays. The draft capital used to acquire him is water under the bridge.

All that matters is whether Lance can perform up to his draft status.