Uncertainty surrounds the quarterback position for the San Francisco 49ers and there is plenty of speculation the team will move on from Jimmy Garoppolo over the offseason. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the 49ers like Garoppolo but could opt to look for a more athletic, dual-threat quarterback for next season.
“Well, this is projecting a bit because the 49ers do like Jimmy G,” Fowler explained on SportsCenter. “There is a good chance he could be back next year, certainly. But if they feel that the injuries are just too much to handle and they need to move on, I’ve talked to many coaches and coordinators around the league who believe Kyle Shanahan, one of the brilliant offensive minds in the game, should go all out on a young, athletic QB instead of going the veteran route, trading for a Kirk Cousins or a Matt Ryan. Go exciting and amplify that running game with a guy who can get out wide and get weird in the NFC West and go win it.”
North Dakota State QB Trey Lance Could Be a Fit for the 49ers
One player that fits this criteria is North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields are the favorites to be the top two quarterbacks selected in the 2021 NFL Draft and likely will be out of the range where the 49ers will end up picking. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer noted there is a buzz that Lance would be a great fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
“Maybe they’ll wind up with a high pick, and a shot at someone like North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, regarded by scouts as a strong fit for the Shanahan offense,” Breer explained. “Maybe a Shanahan-connected QB like Matt Ryan or Kirk Cousins will be available. Or maybe their best option will be to stick with Garoppolo.”
North Dakota State did not have a fall season in 2020, but Lance threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 66.9 percent of his passes in 2019. Lance is also a threat with his legs rushing for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns.
If the 49ers Move On From Jimmy G, They Could Trade for a Veteran QB
One thing that remains clear is the 49ers have faith in Garoppolo, but that is unlikely to prevent them from considering other options over the offseason if the franchise decides it gives them a better chance to win. We know the team briefly considered signing Tom Brady over the offseason.
The draft is not the only way the Niners can find a new quarterback. Fowler noted that Sam Darnold could be a trade option for the Niners if the Jets select a quarterback in the draft.
“They could also go the Sam Darnold route, if he is available,” Fowler added. “Now, I’m told, the Jets really believed in him and believe he’s got massive tools and potential to get it done in the future. That’s why they did not put him on the trading block. …They could hold onto Darnold until late April, around draft time, take [Trevor] Lawrence and then move Darnold. He has that throw-on-the-run ability and some of that athleticism that could be attractive to the 49ers.”