Maybe the 49ers minted gold without even realizing it.
San Francisco is trading up to 3rd place in the overall selection on March 26, leaving no room for doubt that the team has decided to pick a passerby in that position in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Although early rumors and speculation speculated that head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch would lead Alabama QB Mac Jones with the selection, Shanahan said he did not make the decision until April 19 – Trey Lance’s second professional day.
In an interview with Peter King’s NBC Sports, Shanahan revealed why the team opted for Lance instead of Jones despite their momentum in favor of ‘Bame QB’.
His natural ability to play the position of a defender, only in the sense of how he plays in his pocket, how he can go through progress, how, when no one is open, how to give him a chance, to recognize him. And how quickly it reacts to turning into an off-schedule show. He plays on the tape as if he is a very calm, smart man who has been playing position for some time.
Then you look at the other attributes and say, “Oh, I didn’t even get to the expensive running skills.” I didn’t get to stress how much better he can become, the more he plays. That’s why I immediately fell in love with him.
Shanahan’s reasoning is largely in line with what scouts and analysts have said about Lance from the start: While raw, Lance’s pure physical attributes may be best in the 2021 draft class, and his IQ and football IQ also play a big role. in who he is as a passerby.
After scouting Lance and watching additional tapes, Shanahan and Lynch agreed that Lance would be the guy in 3rd place, which led to his election on April 29th. While Shanahan has said he wants an election in the first round, he understands the price pays off for a high-caliber player.
Shanahan did not inform the coaches on the team that Lance would be selected until Trevor Lawrence’s name was named in the draft.
Although Lance is expected to gain time on the field this season, for now the 49ers still have Jimmy Garoppolo ahead of Lance on the depth chart, although trade rumors suggest that Garoppolo could start before the start of the 2021 season.
The 49ers gave up two future choices in the first round to move on to the third. It is now up to Lance to prove them right.