IF you’re a San Francisco 49ers die-hard fan like me, you’ve got to be ecstatic with the third pick in the recent National Football League (NFL) Draft—Trey Lance.
Lance, according to a news website, “Played college football at North Dakota State, where he won the Walter Payton Award and Jerry Rice Award as a redshirt freshman in 2019. He holds the NCAA record for most passes thrown in a season without an interception, doing so with 312 in 2019. Although he only played one game in the 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lance was selected third overall by the 49ers in the 2021 NFL Draft, who traded up to select him.”
Lance is 6-foot-4, 220 lbs and he can run. According to a Yahoo sports article, Lance’s psychological tests are “Off the charts.”
“Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch selected the North Dakota State quarterback at No. 3 because they have a lot to love about Lance, specifically his intelligence.
Lance was viewed by many as one of the smartest QBs in the draft, and that was a big factor for the 49ers.
NFL analyst Adam Schefter says, “New SF QB Trey Lance’s psychological tests for the 49ers were “off the charts,” per a source. The 49ers considered him the smartest quarterback in this draft class.”
A lot is going for this kid besides his high football IQ and that throughout his college career, he’s only thrown one interception.
“One factor working in Lance’s favor is that the offense at North Dakota State is viewed as a pro-style offense, something that could help Lance with his transition to the NFL. “The Niners offense is the famed west coast offense that’s won Super Bowls for former Niners quarterbacks Joe Montana, Steve Young and current starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.”
NFL.com quoting former 49ers running back Frank Gore says, “You don’t give up all that for a pocket passer. You don’t give up all that and still need to call a perfect play for a guy. This guy can make plays even when the call ain’t perfect. He has a chance to be special in that offense.”
According to Colin Cowherd of the “The Herd” podcast, “I think he’s special,” while discussing the quarterback-heavy draft. “By the way, I’m not going to lie, he was at my house 24 hours ago. Very humble, very gracious, he’s got all the right things in life that he cares about.”
The NFL do background checks on potential picks before they are drafted. They interview family, relatives, former coaches, trainers and teammates. Teams do a holistic evaluation on players before they make a decision.
Cowherd continues, “I know Trey, I like him, I think he’s a really good kid. This is 6-foot-4, 220 [pounds], big arm, can run.
NFL teams these days are looking for quarterbacks who not only stay in the pocket but can slice through defenses like a running back—but run like a gazelle like a wide receiver.
In an interview on SI.com, Lance says, “Honestly, whatever situation I’m put in, I’m going to be as prepared as possible to be ready to go whenever the coaches see fit. But I’m just looking for an opportunity anywhere. I don’t pick where I go. I’ll be super grateful to go anywhere.
“Whatever organization I go to, I’m going to be as ready as I possibly can day one. I’m a competitor first and foremost. So I’m going to compete for that spot regardless of where I’m at or what the situation is.
“It’s huge. You see Lamar Jackson, and not only Lamar Jackson, but countless quarterbacks around the league that can move. That’s one of my strengths for sure. So I’m anxious to show what I’ve got and what I can do.”
Lance’s last answer was about quarterbacks being a dual threat, can throw and can move. Like I said earlier, more and more teams are putting a premium on quarterbacks who can throw and run.