While most eyes and ears were glued to the April 25 pre-draft press conference held by San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch in hopes of getting some news nuggets regarding the “will they, won’t they” situation with Deebo Samuel, another juicy piece of information was dropped by Lynch involving rookie quarterback Trey Lance.
While it’s no secret the 49ers have been tip-toing around wanting to eventually start Lance, Lynch made it clear that no decision has been made official yet, especially since starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is still on the team.
“All these reports, I don’t know where they come from,” Lynch said in the press conference. “But we always believe in competition.”
He then went on to praise Lance, whom San Francisco selected with the third overall pick in the 2021 draft.
“I think, though, at the same time, we are great believers in what Trey Lance brings to the table. We believe he’s ready. He’s going to show that. And I think he’s ready to show that to us, show that to his teammates, show that to the world. So we’re excited for that opportunity that he has.”
‘Trey’s Got One of the Highest Ceilings I’ve Ever Seen Before’
49ers tight end George Kittle also believes that Lance is ready and offered some high praise for the 21-year-old on Brandon Marshall’s I Am Athlete podcast on April 25.
After calling Jimmy Garoppolo a “fantastic leader,” Kittle went on to compliment Lance.
“And then you look at Trey [Lance], who I think has one of the highest ceilings I’ve ever seen before. Some of the things you see him do on the football field and you’re like ‘Holy cow, I can’t wait ’til he throws me passes.’”
Kittle also compared Lance to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
“Josh Allen is an established quarterback,” Kittle said. “Trey has to prove that. He has to do it on the football field. But I think he can move the chains with his feet. He’s a big body. He can take hits. He wants to make plays. He’s got a cannon of an arm. It’s crazy. He can roll out to the right on the sideline and throw it diagonally, like 50 yards on a line. There’s not a lot of people that can do that stuff.”
Echoing Kyle Shanahan
During the NFL annual League Meeting in March, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that the 49ers had no intention of releasing Garoppolo to save salary-cap space and that he was ready to see what Lance has to offer as starter.
“That’s why we looked into trading Jimmy,” Shanahan said. “Because we obviously believe Trey can be a starter and we’re ready to do that. But if we can’t upgrade our team in another way, we’re not going to just get rid of a good quarterback because we have other quarterbacks on the roster. Quarterbacks are really hard to come by, some teams don’t have any at all, and the fact that we have three that we’re happy with, that is a good thing.”
Shanahan went on to say that Lance will follow in Garoppolo’s footsteps and do a great job for San Francisco as the 30-year-old had done.
“We brought Trey here to do that eventually, and I think that will be sooner (rather) than later,” Shanahan said.