After the 49ers’ 2021 campaign came to a close with a loss to the Rams in the NFC Championship Game, the Trey Lance era in San Franciso was supposed to begin immediately and without question. But with a lack of extended playing time during his rookie season, there are suddenly doubts about Lance’s readiness for the big time.
It’s natural for some — especially in the national media — to speculate given the lack of information, namely an abundance of Lance on film, with Jimmy Garoppolo hanging on to his starting spot at QB all season long.
But what do the 49ers think? Was Lance held from game action because he’s simply not good? Or did coach Kyle Shanahan stick to his plan in 2021, allowing his young QB to develop as Garoppolo played one more year of football in the Bay Area?
Well, according to NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco, the 49ers feel just fine about their No. 3 overall pick from the 2021 NFL Draft. In fact, the franchise is reportedly “emboldened” by their selection of Lance. Here’s part of what Maiocco said on air at KNBR, The Sports Leader, on the subject.
In case anyone forgot, it’s clear that the 49ers have seen a lot more film of Lance than anybody else has, and according to Maiocco, the franchise is all in on their young signal-caller.
And it’s easy to see why. Shortly after some negative takes on Lance’s ability surfaced on social media, this film of Lance during practice found its way to Twitter, providing a totally different lens from which to view Lance’s skill.
I’d say that pass took a fair amount of ability. There’s more footage, too, supplied by Javier Vega of the 4th & Gold Podcast.
It’s talking season in the NFL, with no games to speak of after the season’s conclusion, so it’s no surprise that there are some hot takes regarding Lance, a great unknown as the No. 3 pick. But there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s very skilled and perfect for Shanahan’s offense, which is built for a QB like Lance who can roll out of the pocket and make big-time throws.
I do think Shanahan would be wise to keep Lance from running read-option-type plays, however. Lance is too valuable as a moble passer to put his health at risk with designed runs. But the Lance era is definitely upon us, and I can’t wait to see what he can accomplish in 2022.