The fact that the San Francisco 49ers were going to take a quarterback in last night's NFL Draft was no secret, after the team made a very aggressive move to jump up to No. 3. That doesn't make the situation less awkward for new Niners "QB of the future" Trey Lance and incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo.
The 49ers thought they had their long term answer at quarterback when they acquired Jimmy G from the Patriots. He's never quite put his stamp on that mantle, dealing with numerous injuries, as well as long stretches where he's looked more like a game manager than a star, even during the team's run to the Super Bowl two seasons ago.
Lance presents great question marks as well. He has just one real college season under his belt, his spectacular 2019 campaign, played just one showcase game in 2020, and of course, comes from the FCS level (like Garoppolo). He's ceiling looks unbelievable though. In 2019, he threw for 28 touchdowns without an interception, passing for 2,768 yards and adding 1,110 and 14 touchdowns on the ground. He led NDSU to an undefeated national championship season.
Speculation over whether Lance will get the nod right away, or if Jimmy Garoppolo will start the season as QB1 will be rampant for months. Even so, Lance says he's excited to get to know the veteran quarterback and build that relationship.
"Honestly, I'm not really worried about it right now," Trey Lance said at his first press conference, when asked whether he expects to start or sit as a rookie. "Right now. I'm just focused on getting there, learning as much as I possibly can. Getting to know Jimmy and the guys in the room and learning. Getting to know him, becoming close with him and like I said, just learning as much as I can. Then at that point, obviously competing."
“It’s going to be very hard for a rookie to come in and beat Jimmy Garoppolo out. He’s a very good player,” Shanahan said. “That’s why I like the situation that we are in. Now, we’ll see where Trey’s at. We’ll see how he does at OTAs. I love that we’re getting those. I love that he’s going to be here tomorrow. But Jimmy’s our quarterback right now.”
The second night of the NFL Draft begins at 7 p.m. ET.