Trey Lance has been the least talked about prospect for the 49ers at No. 3.
Mac Jones and Justin Fields have been the main talk of the town when it comes to the possibility of being drafted by the 49ers. Both are coming from respectable programs and are coming off tremendous seasons.
Lance on the other hand has been in the waiting room after skipping out on the season, so that is largely why his hype hasn't soared. Still, there is a lot to like about Lance from the 49ers' standpoint. Envisioning him as the quarterback is not out of the realm of possibility.
Does Lance make sense for the 49ers?
He certainly does. I would not rule out Lance as the pick. In fact, I have Lance as the second-best option for the 49ers after Fields. The obvious issue with Lance is his lack of reps. Forgoing the 2021 season has made it tough to gauge him as much. Then there is also the "small school" aspect of his game, but I wouldn't hold it heavily against him.
Lance, as opposed to Fields and Jones, seems more poised to wait his turn. That means the 49ers could actually keep Jimmy Garoppolo and roll out Lance whenever they believe he is ready. Lance is a little more raw than Fields and Jones, but it is his projection of what he can be that makes it so enticing to take him.
To get a better sense of what Lance can do, take a look at a quick overview by NFL Draft Analyst, and former All49ers writer, Matt Holder below.
Lance's noticeable skills is the deep ball and play-recognition. Of course, they will need some polishing since he hasn't seen live action for almost a year. Then there is his obvious mobility that can open up a new aspect in the 49ers offense. But it is his physical traits that make him an intriguing prospect. The 49ers do not have to trade Garoppolo, as much as I disagree with that.
If they take Lance, then there is definitely no rush to roll him out. It will fall in line to what they have been saying all along, so it is a win-win for the 49ers in that sense. At least, they can wait to see how he is coming along in training camp and decide from there. Taking Lance will be a huge swing for the future by the 49ers. I think it is actually a riskier play than taking Jones just based off of the small sample size.
Then again, Lance is two years younger than both Fields and Jones. This is part of why you hear that Lance might have the higher ceiling. That two year gap is definitely something to take into account because the 49ers are a "big picture" organization with Shanahan and John Lynch leading the way.
Taking Lance would make sense and be sound just based off of his physical traits, so the compensation to move up from No. 12 to No. 3 is justified from there.
When the draft rolls around, do not be surprised if the 49ers take Lance.