After months of speculation, the 49ers have selected former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lance was the third consecutive quarterback selected; Trevor Lawrence was taken by the Jaguars with the No. 1 overall pick, while Zach Wilson went to the Jets with the second overall pick.
Lance, officially listed at 6-foot-4, 226-pounds, enjoyed a prolific 2020 season that saw him compete nearly 67% of his passes with 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He undoubtedly improved his draft stock following his impressive pro day in March.
"Lance is a mobile quarterback with a strong arm and the ability to drive the ball," says CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Josh Edwards. "At roughly 21 years old and having little more than a year's worth of starting experience at North Dakota State, there is still a lot of room for growth. His decision-making has been poor at times and there was an abnormal amount of balls batted down at the line of scrimmage in a few games. His one-game showcase against Central Arkansas was not inspiring but it factors little into the overall evaluation given the circumstances. Any team willing to select him in the top 10 is doing so based on his ceiling as a player."
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Lance heads to a 49ers team that fell several plays short of a Super Bowl victory in 2019. As it currently stands, Lance will get a chance to learn from veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, who has two years remaining under his current contract.
San Francisco chose Lance over quarterbacks Justin Fields and Mac Jones. Both quarterbacks were projected as first-round picks leading up to the draft.