49ers GM John Lynch Explains Decision to Draft Trey Lance

Published 05/19/2021, 12:06 PM CDT
May 14, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) works on passing drills during the first day of rookie minicamp at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports


The San Francisco 49ers have found their quarterback for the future. The 49ers traded up prior to the draft, to move up to #3 overall.

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With that pick, many analysts speculated that they would select a quarterback, with a great depth of options at that position. And that is exactly what the 49ers did, selecting Trey Lance with their 3rd overall pick. But what went into making that decision?

San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch spoke recently about the franchise’s decision to select Trey Lance. He noted that he and the 49ers took the process of selecting a player, more specifically a quarterback, very successful.

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He and Kyle Shanahan were impressed early on with Trey Lance. But they didn’t want the information to reach the rest of the organization, as it could sway the opinions of other executives.

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Trey Lance (North Dakota State) with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the San Francisco 49ers as the number three overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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“It actually was in an effort to give the process the due that it deserved. What I’m saying is, fairly early on, Kyle and I had zeroed in on Trey, but I think if everybody in our building knew that, it would be hard to get people’s true opinions. I think people’s opinions would gravitate towards ours.”  (h:t- Colin Cowherd)

49ers GM was always sure of Trey Lance

Lynch added that while he believes that the executives of the 49ers are capable of making their own decisions, sometimes people can shift their opinions to what the popular consensus is.

But he wanted to know what the executives really thought about Trey Lance, rather than something positive or negative based on his own opinion. Clearly, the decision was meticulous, with Lynch not leaving any stone unturned.

“You try to hire people with conviction and all that, but human nature says that if you’re the leaders of the franchise, people, at some point, are going to gravitate.

“We wanted to hear people’s real opinions, and we wanted to really give the process the full and thorough process that it deserved, and I think that allowed us to.

“We didn’t want to leave anything to chance, we wanted it to be as thorough as possible.”

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Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, OH, USA; North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance appears on the Red Carpet at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame before the first round of the 2021 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
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Can Trey Lance become a success in San Francisco? Currently, he will be on the bench behind current starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

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But this could be a good learning experience for Lance. After all, Garoppolo led the 49ers to a Super Bowl just a season ago. So Lance will have a good mentor in his rookie year.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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