In March, the San Francisco 49ers traded three first-round picks to the Miami Dolphins to move up to the No. 3 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. And on Sunday night, reports emerged that the 49ers were choosing between Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the pick. Jones had been the betting favorite… until Lance became the favorite just hours ahead of Thursday night’s draft.
The draft arrived on Thursday night, and the first two picks went as expected (for months now): Trevor Lawrence to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 1, and Zach Wilson to the New York Jets at No. 2. This draft essentially began at the No. 3 pick, and the latest betting odds proved to be accurate: Trey Lance.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) April 30, 2021
Lance is a high-upside prospect listed at 6’4″, 224, who has plenty of talent as a passer and (powerful) runner. He’s drawn plenty of Josh Allen and Dak Prescott comps (at least in terms of *potential*, of course).
Now, one concern is that Lance did this at the FCS level, played only one game in 2020, and only had one full season as a starter. But he did totally dominate in that 2019 season, throwing 28 touchdowns and no interceptions, while leading North Dakota State to a 16-0 record.
The 49ers and head coach Kyle Shanahan clearly had plenty of conviction in being able to get the most out of Lance, or else they wouldn’t have sold the farm to move up to the No. 3 pick.
So many questions on new #49ers QB Trey Lance, but I recall what one college scouting director told me: “Whatever the ceiling is, he'll make it." Every team who spent time with Lance loved the person, the intangibles, the work ethic. SF betting big Lance will figure out the rest.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 30, 2021
With Shanahan and plenty of weapons on offense, Lance is in about as good of a situation as imaginable — especially when talking a top-3 pick — to succeed.