Trey Lance has the potential to take Kyle Shanahan's offense to the next level, but it's expected to be a while before he gets there. A starter for just 17 games at North Dakota State, Lance is famously known for a 2019 season that featured 28 passing touchdowns, 14 rushing touchdowns, 1,100 rushing yards and zero interceptions. He's a bright guy with excellent size, arm strength and athleticism, but his footwork and body mechanics need refining, which should hopefully improve his mid-range and deep-ball accuracy. Fantasy managers have learned to crave quarterbacks who are willing to pick up chunks of yards via the run, and Lance is exactly that. He's expected to watch from the sideline until the Niners deem him ready to play, which might not be until the back-half of 2021, so he's probably not going to get picked in typical seasonal one-QB leagues. Expect him to get snagged late in Superflex redraft and two-QB formats. Lance is projected as a mid-round pick in start-up dynasty leagues and is an easy top-15 choice in rookie-only drafts.
Lance agreed Wednesday with the 49ers on a four-year, $34.11 million contract, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports. Now that he's put pen to paper on his rookie deal, Lance may be available later Wednesday, when the 49ers hold their first practice of training camp. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has said multiple times that he views Jimmy Garoppolo as his starting quarterback heading into 2021, but Lance's status as the No. 3 overall pick means he'll likely make starts at some point this season. Meanwhile, Jets quarterback and No. 2 overall selection Zach Wilson is left as the only first-round pick who hasn't signed a contract.
Coach Kyle Shanahan reiterated Tuesday that the 49ers don't have a quarterback competition, with Jimmy Garoppolo being the starter and Lance the backup, Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News reports. Other coaches have said the same thing before quickly changing their minds once the veteran QB faltered. However, there is a little more reason to believe it in this case, with Lance being a 21-year-old rookie who got just one season of experience as a starter at FCS North Dakota State. Of course, none of this stopped the 49ers from trading up to the No. 3 overall pick to acquire him -- a move that confirmed Garoppolo was on borrowed time. As for the immediate future, Lance still hasn't signed a rookie contract and may thus be absent from practice when the 49ers take the field Wednesday morning. Nate Sudfeld and Josh Rosen are the options for second-team QB reps if Lance is unavailable.
The 49ers selected Lance in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, third overall. This pick has been one of the great unknowns since the 49ers used multiple future first-round picks to move up from No.12 overall. Alabama quarterback Mac Jones had been rumored to be the pick since the trade, but the Lance to San Francisco connection proved to be the ultimate result. Lance, at age 20, comes to San Francisco with just one full year of starting experience at North Dakota State in 2019, when he completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions while adding 1,100 yards and 14 scores on the ground. He possesses all the traits, combining elite arm strength with game-breaking mobility when plays break down. There is some projection with Lance given his lack of experience and the level of competition he faced, as well as spotty ball placement at times. However, his fit in Kyle Shanahan's offense in San Francisco makes him a fascinating prospect both in real life and for fantasy. The question now resides with how San Francisco handles his development alongside Jimmy Garoppolo.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/26||Green Bay Packers||7||18.00|
|10||11/15||Los Angeles Rams||1||15.56|
|18||01/09||@Los Angeles Rams||1||15.56|