Fast forward to the 49ers completing minicamp, some pundits who were on site in the Santa Clara facility were left impressed by Lance’s arm. Others like national radio personality Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports 1 proclaimed that Lance “checks all my boxes except one,” with the one blemish being accuracy.
Now, a former NFL executive shared a bold prediction about how things will shake out with the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — comparing his situation to one past league Most Valuable Player who put up astronomical numbers in his first season as a starter.
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What Louis Riddick Predicts
ESPN NFL personality Louis Riddick — who also spent time in the league as a scout, director of pro personnel and was considered a hot commodity for numerous general manager openings this offseason — is high on Lance.
How high? To the point where he sees a lot of Patrick Mahomes in the 49ers starter when Mahomes was being inserted into the starting lineup in Kansas City during a conversation with Sage Steele on Thursday, June 9 on Sportscenter.
Steele asked Riddick if Lance would have a breakout, MVP-like season in his first full season as a starter.
“Well, Patrick Mahomes did it in his first full year as a starter,” Riddick responded. “I think Trey Lance can do the same type of thing. When Patrick came out of Texas Tech, remember, people weren’t thinking Patrick was going to be Patrick. No one right now really thinks Trey Lance is going to be the Trey Lance that could be MVP-worthy.
“I wouldn’t bet against it, especially with that coaching staff, that system, and how familiar he is with it based off the kind of things he did at North Dakota State. I would not bet against it. Although, I’m not putting my money there.”
Riddick has Long Loved Lance
It’s not the first time Riddick has gushed over Lance.
Back on April 15, 2021, Riddick went on NFL Live to boldly predict Lance would have “an All-Pro, legendary type of career.”
“Trey Lance in particular, of all these quarterbacks, I think is the guy. Especially within the context of this kind of offense…could have an All-Pro, legendary type of career,” was what Riddick said.
Riddick told Steele he’s still high on Lance.
“I loved Trey Lance,” Riddick said. “I got a chance to go up there to his pro day at North Dakota State and meet him, talk to him, watch him throw. I thought, coming out in the draft a few years ago, that Atlanta’s offense, run by Arthur Smith, or this offense that’s he’s in now, run by Kyle Shanahan, were the two best fits for this young man because of the fact that it looks exactly like what he ran at North Dakota State.”
Like Cowherd, Riddick is a believer that Lance has to fix his accuracy. By doing so, Riddick believes the 49er will earn a significant new title.
“If he can clean up his decision-making and his accuracy, the kind of things that Kyle would be able to do to scheme people open with the use of the play-action pass…he will be the best dual-threat quarterback in the NFL,” Riddick said. “He will be because he’s 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, and he can throw the ball a mile, and he can throw it with accuracy, and he can make all the throws that you need him to make, especially in the context of an offense that he’s familiar with.”