The San Fransisco 49ers settled on North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft last Thursday, following weeks of deliberation. Just a few days after the selection, Jed York revealed that he consulted a key outside source about what to do.
According to the 49ers CEO, the organization got some reassurance on the choice from former franchise running back Frank Gore. He shared that the two had an exchange over the few weeks leading up to the draft.
“I know Frank trains with a lot of people, and this is a weird year where our scouts really didn’t have the opportunity to do as much in person,” York told Matt Maiocco of 49ers Talk. “And I asked him if he knew any of the guys.”
Gore apparently told York he most had familiarity with Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, so the 49ers CEO asked Gore to look at Lance. The veteran running back fired back with a fantastic comment.
“You’re not going to take a North Dakota State kid,” Gore told York.
But soon after watching film of the "North Dakota State kid", along with some of his interviews, Gore was sold. He then sent his evaluation to York.
“You got to take Trey. This kid is amazing. He can do so many things with Kyle [Shanahan’s] offense, and Kyle can take it to the next level with all the things you can do.”
York and the 49ers kept the decision to take Lance under wraps for the days leading up to the draft, but getting a similar evaluation from a well-respected NFL voice was key. Gore spent the bulk of his career in San Fransisco, so he clearly has a deep understanding of the franchise.
Although the 17-year veteran wasn't the reason the 49ers took Lance, he certainly pushed York in the right direction. Now, he'll try to find a team of his own for the 2021 campaign.