The 49ers traded a king’s ransom for the rights to draft Trey Lance 3rd overall in the 2021 draft. The 49ers traded their No.12 pick, a first and a third-round pick in 2021, and a first-round pick in 2023 for the third pick. No one knew who the 49ers were going to take with the third pick. Everyone knew they were going to pick a quarterback, the question was which one. Many thought it was going to be Alabama QB Mac Jones or Ohio State QB Justin Fields. But some people correctly thought it was going to be North Dakota State QB Trey Lance because of his eye-popping talent. He might have played against worse competition, but that didn’t stop Lance from putting up incredible numbers in his 1 year as a starter. Lance is the quarterback of the future, the question is how long until the 9ers yank Jimmy Garoppolo from the starting job in favor of Lance.
Lance only played one full season as the starter for the Bison, but that didn’t stop him from putting up truly ridiculous numbers. In his sophomore season, Lance threw for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns to 0 INTS on a 66.9% completion percentage. Lance also ran for 1100 yards on 14 touchdowns in 169 attempts. Lance is a true dual-threat quarterback with a rocket arm and the smarts to avoid taking big hits when he’s out in the open field. Lance dominated the teams he played against as he won 2 FCS championships, won the Jerry Rice Award, and won the Walter Payton Award. He would have played his junior year and most likely would have rewritten the record books, but the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and Lance decided to forgo his junior year in favor of preparing himself for the draft. We shall see if that pays off as Lance has a chance to win the starting job from Jimmy Garoppolo and lead the 49ers back to the playoffs.
|Pass YDS||Pass TDS||INTS||Rush YDS||Rush TDS||FPTS||FPPG|
This is a tricky one to write statistical projection for since we don’t know when Lance will play. These numbers can be doubled if he plays the whole season, and these numbers can all be zero if Jimmy G wins the job and starts the whole season. Lance is a high upside player, but he also has the potential to not play this season at all. Right now, Jimmy G is the expected starter with Lance sitting behind him and learning the offense. Lance has all of the physical tools and reports are coming out of 49ers minicamp practices that Lance is learning the offense at a frantic pace, but will that be enough to impress coaches to the point where they start him over the veteran Jimmy G? Only time will tell.
ADP & Auction Value
ADP: 174, Rounds 14-15, QB29
Auction Value: $0
Draft experts think that Lance will not start the season as the 49ers starting quarterback. Right now, he is surrounded by guys like Cam Newton and Taysom Hill who both have unique situations of their own. Both are like Jimmy G in that they are the presumptive starter with a short leash if they don’t play well. Lance is different from those guys because Lance is the next guy up if the starter isn’t playing well enough. Lance has a tremendous amount of upside because of his strong arm and good decision-making skills, it’s just a matter of if the 49ers will let him show his talent on Sundays.
The floor for Lance only exists if he doesn’t play this season. Lance isn’t good enough to score from the bench, no one is. So it’s pretty simple if Lance doesn’t play, he isn’t worth stashing on your bench in the unlikely outcome that Jimmy G gets benched or is injured. Normal fantasy rosters aren’t big enough to have a huge question mark like Lance toiling away on your bench. Lance either needs to be playing or be rumored to be playing in the next couple of weeks to justify saving a roster spot for him.
Everyone inside the 49ers organization believes that the future is super bright with Lance as their quarterback. He never threw an interception in college and had over 2,000 yards passing and over 1,000 rushing yards in the same season. He is a tremendous athlete who will never make a coach yank his hair out with his great decision-making. Lance is going to become the next star quarterback of the NFL, it’s just a matter of how soon. Jimmy Garoppolo did miss 10 games last season due to an ankle injury and has also looked really bad at times in his 31 games in San Fransisco. I heard reports that Lance could win the job soon and start Week 1, but there’s also a high chance that Lance sits at the start of the season so temper your expectations on Trey Lance.
San Fransisco 49ers Offense
The 49ers ranked 15th in total offense in 2020 and that was for a reason. The 49ers were famously plagued with injuries this past season causing them to lose key offensive starters in Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, and the human version of a bull in a china shop, George Kittle. Without these 3 for much of the season, the 49ers struggled on offense. There were some bright spots for their backups as they scored 33 against the Patriots and 33 against the Cowboys, but for the most part, the 49ers averaged a mediocre 22.9 points per game after Jimmy Garrapolo left the game in a crushing Week 5 loss to the Dolphins. However, Kyle Shannahan is known as an offensive genius throughout the league, and if he gets all of his key starters back, then we can see a resurgence in this 49ers group back to the team that averaged 29.9 points per game and almost beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl 2 years ago.
Strength of Schedule
Coming off of a disappointing 6-10 season, the 49ers now have the easiest strength of schedule this upcoming season. Now, no games in the NFL free wins, but the 49ers have some relatively easy games as they get to play some bottom-of-the-barrel teams in the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars. Their toughest games are the games against their division rivals in the Rams, Seahawks, and Cardinals, but they also have to face off against previous playoff teams in the Colts, Titans, Bears, and Packers. The 49ers should get off to a quick 2-0 start as their first two opponents are the Lions and Eagles. Then they go onto their toughest stretch of games in Weeks 3-10 when they have to play teams that have an average expected win total of 9.17. The rest of their season then mellows out as they play teams with an average expected win total of 7.79.
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