NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco had a fantastic piece about Trey Lance, his parents, the decision to go into drafting him, and what NFL teams wanted to know about Lance linked below. It’s a series, as part II will come next week about how Lance’s college years shaped him.
But while Lance won’t get first-team reps, he’ll be reading a real-life opposing defense. Shanahan said that he’s in the same boat as everyone who’s been following Lance.
“I’m just excited to see him play, like everyone else is,” Shanahan said. “The reality of it is, it’s an experience for them. I think Trey’s going to make the team, so he doesn’t have to go out there and freak out about that, but he knows a lot of eyes will be on him and sometimes those guys want to go out there and make some plays and show everyone what to be excited about. I just always try to tell them, ‘It’s just like practice, except they can hit you up, so just calm down and just do your job like we try to do out here every day.’ Because that’s what quarterbacking is going to be every single day of your life.”
What did NFL teams want to know?
“Can he handle being in the huddle with grown men, guys who have 10 years of experience on him?” Entz answered. “Can he correct them? Can he have that constructive conversation with the No. 1 receiver and move forward with them? Or will it be intimidating?
“It was very seldom that we talked about arm strength and foot quickness. It was mental capabilities, ability to continue to learn. How does he learn? Can he have that leadership role in an NFL organization?”
That Sanu seems to have emerged as the early favorite is a testament to his self-belief and the relationship he and Shanahan forged in Atlanta. Holding no grudges from the 49ers releasing him last year, Sanu had little doubt where he wanted to bounce back.
“I’m a football player and I have got common sense, too,” Sanu said. “I’m a realist. I know if I was at my best and they cut me, I would have been like ‘Damn.’ But I wasn’t. And I knew that so I was thinking I will get right and take advantage of the next opportunity.”
But, Grier told Lynch, he couldn’t completely commit to the deal because one more piece of the puzzle on his end had to fall into place before they could finalize it.
He didn’t tell Lynch the other part.
“These transactions lead to other things happening, so that left me a little uneasy,” Lynch said.
One day after tentatively agreeing to the deal with the 49ers, Grier made the call to Lynch to finalize it.
Lynch was with 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters and vice president of player personnel Ethan Waugh in the Brigham Young University parking lot for quarterback Zach Wilson’s pro day when Grier called.
Garoppolo, meanwhile, was 13 of 17 in 11-on-11 situations, and in keeping with the theme of training camp practices, he was sharp during his move-the-ball period, going 7 of 9 on his 60-yard drive.
Garoppolo hit his first four passes, which went to receiver Trent Sherfield, tight end George Kittle (twice) and running back Raheem Mostert. A little later he threw his best pass, a dart to Cracraft, to the 10-yard line. Two plays after that — and with 8 seconds left — he found Brandon Aiyuk in front of B.W. Webb on a short crossing pattern just beyond the goal line.