Trey Lance certainly could earn the right to compete with Jimmy Garoppolo for the starting job during training camp. But the 49ers won't throw Lance into a quarterback competition right away.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said so the night the 49ers drafted Lance with the No. 3 pick. "I want this kid to be brought along," Shanahan said. "I want to see how he does. And if it turns into a competition, it turns into a competition. I'd be excited about that if he showed he was ready for it, but we know where Jimmy's at."
And that's at the top of the depth chart. So when OTAs start on May 24, expect Garoppolo to receive 100 percent of the reps with the starters, because Lance has to learn the entire offense before he realistically can take Garoppolo's job. And Lance hasn't had nearly enough time to digest the entire playbook.
So Lance most likely will play with the second stringers during OTAs. And he'll have to split those reps with Josh Rosen or Nate Sudfeld or Josh Johnson -- someone. The 49ers won't give Garoppolo and Lance all the reps while those three quarterbacks watch from the sidelines.
Which means Lance will have to compete with one of the backups during OTAs. And it could be Rosen. If Lance outplays Rosen in OTAs as we expect he would, then and only then would Lance be ready to split first-string reps with Garoppolo when training camp starts in July.
Lance's first test begins in two and a half weeks.