Canton Bound or Big-Time Bust: What Can One Expect From Niners Rookie QB Trey Lance?

Published 05/16/2021, 12:12 PM EDT
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 bagged themselves their quarterback for the future. And it’s none other than North Dakota State’s Trey Lance who’s got the privileges of getting that tag.

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The Niners have historically been a franchise blessed with elite quarterbacks. Y.A Tittle, Steve Young, and Joe Montana have all represented the red and gold brigade in the past.

And the common denominator between them you ask? They’re all NFL Hall of Famers. The last couple of decades though have been a bit different.

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While the franchise has had some decent quarterbacks at their disposal, none have lived up to the standards set by their predecessors of the 80s and 90s. 

In fact, the side’s last Super Bowl came way back in 1995, when Steve Young was the side’s QB. Since then quarterbacks like Alex Smith and Jimmy Garoppolo have taken on the play-calling duties of the Niners offense. But neither could guide their side to the promised land. 

Might Trey Lance finally be a departure from the recent trend of faltering QBs?

Drafting Trey Lance a risk worth taking 

The Niners had to part with massive draft capital to move up to third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to land Lance. This shows that the side has immense faith in their rookie QB. 

But what hooked the organization to Lance? The answer can be found in Lance’s college tape. 

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The quarterback’s smooth play-action mechanic is one that immediately grabs one’s attention. Blessed with a cannon arm, the quarterback can launch it down the field with great accuracy. 

The physical side of his game is also something that the 49ers could benefit from. The QB who played a solitary game in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions averaged 6.8 yards per carry the year before. 

Trey Lance with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the San Francisco 49ers. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The quarterback was able to do this thanks to his massive frame. Standing at 6’3″ and weighing over 223 pounds, Lance reminds one of Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen

A mobile, dual-threat QB, Lance is everything that Jimmy Garoppolo failed to provide Niners Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. 

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Certain questions though have been raised in the past about the QB. Especially his decision making when it comes to tighter windows. The QB has a tendency to lock into his primary read. And as we all know, successful quarterbacks in the NFL must always be ready to improvise.

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Lance is a raw product. While the ceiling is as high as it gets for the QB, his lack of experience is something that could see him fail in the league. 

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Without having played a snap yet, it’s difficult to predict how Lance’s might play out in the NFL. But if given the time needed to adapt to the league and his new surroundings, the QB will definitely help elevate the Niners into solid Super Bowl contenders in the years to come.

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Shivayan Roy

760 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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