The San Francisco 49ers have high expectations for quarterback Trey Lance this season. As the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Lance will be pressured to perform at a high level in his first season as the 49ers' starter.
While plenty of national pundits have been skeptical to believe the North Dakota State alum can replace incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo, CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso put him at the top of his list of second-year players primed for breakout seasons.
Trapasso makes clear in his writeup that Lance was the easiest player to include on this list, writing, "I'm compelled to start with a layup. Got to." He goes even further to compliment Lance, calling him "the most naturally gifted quarterback Kyle Shanahan has ever coached."
Trapasso acknowledges that Lance's production will likely come with some growing pains. Lance's accuracy has been the source of ire from many critics, but Trapasso also points out that Shanahan's "track record with (lesser) quarterbacks is sterling."
In addition, Shanahan will have Lance's running ability to add another dimension to his offense, which already features a great group of skill-position players, highlighted by Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk.
All of those circumstances lead Trapasso to rank Lance among the seven second-year players he expects to have breakout seasons. It's worth noting that Lance is the only quarterback Trapasso has on the list, which is particularly noteworthy given the stacked quarterback class he was a part of in 2021.
The circumstances around Lance seem to be a key reason why Trapasso is so high on his prospects, "Lance is in for a monster Year 2, even if all the mechanical and accuracy kinks are worked out along the way."