The San Francisco 49ers invested a lot into Trey Lance when they traded up to the third overall pick in 2021 and selected him with that pick. It hasn’t worked out so far, and Sunday’s preseason game didn’t necessarily suggest it’s going to any time soon.
There were plenty of reasons to take the North Dakota State alum with the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. But it was always going to be a risk.
Let’s start with the good. As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Lance was remarkable. He threw for 2786 yards and 28 touchdown passes with no interceptions, adding 1100 yards on the ground with 14 touchdowns. He only got to play one game as a redshirt sophomore to the COVID pandemic, but the tape that existed was remarkable. At 6-4 230lb, he had the size, athleticism, and arm strength that NFL teams covet.
It just hasn’t gone to plan. Lance showed off his promise during two starts in 2021 for the 49ers, throwing five touchdowns and two interceptions. But, his 2022 season was a disaster.
Trey Lance was named the starting quarterback heading into the season by coach Kyle Shanahan, but broke his ankle in week 2. His play wasn’t exactly good up to that point, either. Meanwhile, 7th round rookie Brock Purdy led the team to the NFC title game before suffering an injury of his own.
With Purdy the presumptive starter this year, Lance is fighting for the backup job. His stat line from the team’s 34-7 loss against the Raiders seems fine at 10-15 for 112 yards and a touchdown. But let’s look at that touchdown.
WHAT?? That was wild!
— NFL (@NFL) August 13, 2023
I guess that counts?
And, he was sacked four times, a few of them his fault.
3 sacks so far for Trey Lance —this is getting ugly fast. This is the danger when a team, a team’s media and draft media grossly over-grade a prospect. I had an UDFA grade on him coming out – – > https://t.co/Xl9aaQ22RG #49ers pic.twitter.com/Nu5DVOQ4P2
— FIRST ROUND MOCK (@firstroundmock) August 13, 2023
By the way, this guy saying that he had an UDFA grade on Lance when he was a consensus first-round prospect is comical.
He did finish strong, after a slow start.
Trey Lance first 3 drives: 2 of 4, 9 yards, 3 sacks, 1 dropped INT
Trey Lance last 3 drives: 8 of 11, 103 yards, 1 sack, 1 dropped INT
The longer he played, the better he looked. It’s on him to start faster, though. Gotta do more with what you’re given.
— Rob “Stats” Guerrera (@StatsOnFire) August 14, 2023
But, no one is convinced that he is ever going to live up to his lofty draft pick.
Finally prepared to recognize we may live in the timeline where Trey Lance is just bad.
— Jeff Bell (@4WhomJBellTolls) August 13, 2023
49ers fans when they heard Trey Lance was starting the game and then after watching him play pic.twitter.com/oETdoPZWZg
— Saul Goodman (@SoCalNiners) August 13, 2023
Still have no idea what Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch saw in Trey Lance. Thanks for Fields tho
— Let Ryan Poles Eat (@POLESPLSEAT) August 13, 2023
I don’t know whats been worse , Trey Lance or content creators making excuses for him.
— AD49ERS (@Ad49Ers) August 13, 2023
I’m not sold on Brock Purdy long-term either, so 49ers fans should start worrying they’re going to waste this great core.