SANTA CLARA, California. – After a month of endless speculation and debate amusing Trainer Kyle Shanahan in public discourse, this was it San Francisco 49ers Let the world know who their next franchise quarterback will be on Thursday night.
No, it wasn’t long-time betting favorite Mac Jones. It wasn’t Ohio State’s dual threat dynamo, Justin Fields, either.
It was Trey Lance, the player who was seen as one of the biggest risks in the draft due to his small sample of 17 games at the FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, but also the one who many believe offers more advantages than any quarterback in the draft.
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With Lance’s selection by the Niners, this is the highest pick a team has put up for a quarterback just a season away from a Super Bowl appearance in NFL history, the Elias Sports Bureau.
Lance’s addition was a bold decision, in keeping with the equally daring move the Niners took to switch from # 12 to # 3 in order to acquire it. It was also a clandestine operation that Shanahan and Lynch said they went to great lengths to keep their wish to ultimately select Lance a secret, even as Jones speculation swirled around them.
“We’ve been very high on Trey from day one,” Shanahan said. “Yes, the person everyone else is speculating about, we liked him too, but it was just honest going through this whole process in which no one – my friends, coaches, anyone – knew how John and I were feeling and how we felt all along
“I never would have said it couldn’t be that it was him, but I know how we felt about Trey all along, and to watch and watch that, everyone just assumes because a couple of people say something that’s just like you feel like we wouldn’t work to correct that. Anyway. We thought that might be an advantage for us. … If the entire NFL assumes you are doing one thing and If you don’t do that, I won’t work hard to correct this. So, don’t do that. “
When choosing Lance, the future of the established starter Jimmy Garoppolo lingers, despite Shanahan issuing a mea culpa Thursday night for his comments made earlier this week.
On Monday Shanahan was asked if he believed Garoppolo would still be on the team next Sunday. Shanahan said he couldn’t guarantee the roster because he couldn’t guarantee anyone would be alive on Sunday.
Shanahan said Thursday he called Garoppolo immediately after the comment to let him know what he meant.
“I totally bombed this on Monday,” Shanahan said. “I hated how that came about. I talked to Jimmy about it right away. I even noticed when I did it. … It had nothing to do with Jimmy when I said I didn’t know if we would be alive on Sunday. I was just trying not to give my typical answer, “Folks, anyone could be traded if you get a few. John could act me and I shouldn’t be here on Sunday “That’s the answer for every person on our team.”
Shanahan went on to say that there are no immediate plans to trade with Garoppolo, even after Lance’s draft. This is similar to the stance Shanahan and Lynch had held for most of the off-season, but which appeared to be softened when Shanahan made his comments on Monday.
But other quarterback-needy teams like that Chicago Bears (Fields), New England Patriots (Jones) and Denver Broncos ((Teddy Bridgewater) has acquired more quarterbacks this week, and there doesn’t seem to be an obvious landing spot for Garoppolo, even if the Niners were motivated to trade him.
“Jimmy’s situation is if he isn’t here on Sunday I would be disappointed,” said Shanahan. “Because Jimmy is a quarterback who played a year and got us to a Super Bowl and played at a very high level. He’s had some unfortunate injuries, but I believe in Jimmy as a person and he showed it on tape he can.” We took this step, it’s obvious what I hope and what I believe in when this guy walks in, but it would be a very difficult situation if Jimmy wasn’t on our team. I want Jimmy to be here, and I want this kid to be brought along, I want to see him do it, and when it becomes a contest, it becomes a contest. “
How quickly that could happen remains to be seen. In his shortened college career, Lance was equally adept with his arm and legs at leading the bison to a national championship in 2019. As a newcomer to Redshirt, he threw 28 touchdowns without interruption and became the only FCS player to throw at least 20 touchdowns and no interceptions in the last 25 seasons. He also added 14 touchdowns and 1,100 rushing yards.
Lance was also the only prospect among the top five quarterbacks, spending a significant amount of time playing under the middle developing many of the game-action concepts that the 49ers would like to consistently apply, which could help him get on faster Adapt Shanahan’s offense.
While it would be unusual for a quarterback drafted as high as Lance to sit out his entire rookie season – Carson Palmer is the only one to do so in the 2003 joint design era – Lance didn’t seem like it would he’s going to go to the Bay Area with full expectations of what his debut season might bring.
“I don’t worry right away,” Lance said. “I’m just focusing on getting there, learning as much as I can, getting to know Jimmy and the guys in the room, and getting to know him and get to know him and get close to him and just get as much as possible and learn that point, obviously competing . “
Of course, the 49ers’ long journey to Lance in the 24 hours before it became official had to come with another dramatic turn. Lynch was informed of this on Wednesday Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers could be available for trade.
Lynch called but got nowhere.
“They’re talking about our league’s MVP last year,” said Lynch. “Yes, we made some inquiries. It was a brief introduction to the conversation [but] it didn’t happen. Like I said, we’ve been doomed and excited for a long time so we went right back to where we were and we’re very excited to add Trey Lance to the 49ers and we’re excited about it. “