When the 49ers traded away multiple first-round picks, they were betting on a couple of things. The first is the most obvious: Trey Lance is better than Kyle Shanahan, and John Lynch thinks he is.
The second being the team is betting on the young talent not just progressing but turning into potential stars. That includes Javon Kinlaw, Brandon Aiyuk, and a few other recent top draft picks.
If Lance isn’t “the guy” or the future, then this could get ugly. But, based on everything we’ve seen come out about Lance this spring, San Francisco found their guy.
Whether it’s working on Lance’s mechanics to get him ready for training camp or Shanahan leaving the door open for Lance to start, the big one was when Lynch said that Kyle was on the plane after Justin Fields’ pro day drawing up plays for Lance.
From the draft capital given up to everything we’ve heard about Lance early on, none of that would suggest that Lance would sit for long. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo — who has “distant cousin of Jimmy G” and recently had a picture of him and Jimmy in his bio — spoke about the Niners QB competition and believes we’ll see Lance sooner than later:
“I do believe, at some point, we’re going to see Trey Lance this upcoming season because everything that I’ve heard in the spring is how impressive he’s been. Now, if they’re competing, we’re assuming that means Jimmy Garoppolo is playing well. But just look for Trey Lance.
I know we talked about he needs some time to sit and watch, and the thought is maybe he’d have a redshirt season. I’m not so sure, and I’m not so sure that doesn’t mean that they can’t compete with Trey Lance.”
I wouldn’t say Garafolo is changing his tune. It sounds as if he’s letting us know that there’s a chance Garoppolo doesn’t hold off Lance for long. With Lance being the No. 1 pick, that’s to be expected.
One of the biggest myths that have gone around this offseasons that the 49ers won’t be as competitive with Lance under center. “No rookie has ever made the Super Bowl.” That’s assuming that Garoppolo gives the team the best chance — not on Week 1, but come midseason when most teams established their identity.
It’s not a stretch to project Lance’s growth paired with his pocket presence and scrambling ability is better suited for San Francisco than Jimmy G, who has been fine when healthy but hasn’t performed up to his contract.
Another day, another quote from a national media member about the 49ers QB competition. A month and a week, and we’ll have real football back.