The 49ers certainly could draft Trey Lance with the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft.
He arguably has the most potential of all the draft-eligible quarterbacks this year. He's only 20, and he's big and fast and has a cannon. Plus he played in a pro-style offense and made checks at the line of scrimmage, unlike most college quarterbacks. He's extremely smart. NFL.com compares him to Josh Allen, who finished second in the MVP voting last season.
Plus Lance went to North Dakota State, which produced Carson Wentz, who was an MVP candidate before he tore his ACL in 2017. And Lance might be an even better prospect than Wentz was when he entered the draft.
But Lance is green. He played only one season of college football and completed just 208 passes. He's the least experienced first-round quarterback ever, which means he either needs to sit the first two seasons or play right away so he can experience the growing pains and learn on the job.
The 49ers have a Super Bowl window -- they need to win now. They can't afford yet another losing season in 2021, because that would be Kyle Shanahan's fourth losing season in five years. He needs to a quarterback who helps him win next season. That's not Lance.
Lance should go to a team where he can sit behind a Hall of Fame quarterback for a couple years, or a rebuilding team with a new coaching staff.
A team like the Jets.
They recently hired Robert Saleh as their head coach, and they now run the 49ers offense. So if Lance fits the 49ers, he fits the Jets. And Saleh has no pressure to win right away. Meaning he can afford to draft Lance and play him next season.
Plus Jets general manager Joe Douglas was the Eagles vice president of player personnel in 2016 when they drafted Wentz. If Douglas liked Wentz enough to take him with the No. 2 pick, might Douglas like Lance enough to take him at the same spot?
Don't be surprised if the Jets take Lance and leave the 49ers to choose from Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Mac Jones.
In that case, I would expect the 49ers to take Wilson. But who knows? The draft is three weeks away. Lots can happen between now and then.