Since late April, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback position has been under the microscope after trading up to take Trey Lance 3rd overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers have had the last several months to evaluate the quarterback competition between Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers still have not officially announced who will start at the quarterback position come game day, but the decision should be easy… Trey Lance.
The current situation with Garoppolo is far from what it was when they first acquired him from the Patriots. Garoppolo was masterful in his first year in 2017; after being traded from the Patriots for a 2nd round pick, he held a quarterback rating of 96.2 (Pro Football Reference) and sparked optimism within the organization, which signed him to a five-year contract worth $137 million, the most money for a quarterback at the time.
That optimism was short-lived when he tore his ACL in week 3 of 2018. However, in 2019 Garoppolo rebounded in a big way by leading the 49ers to a 13-3 record, throwing for nearly 4,000 yards, and a super bowl appearance, eventually losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. If Garoppolo had such success, why move on from him?
Many will rightfully point to his 2019 season and say that he isn’t getting a fair chance. The fact of the matter is Jimmy G was a non-factor in the playoffs. He completed 11 passes in the divisional round of the playoffs, he then went 6-8 against Greenbay, and then threw 2 picks against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
In addition, he has been plagued by injuries, including his torn ACL and persistent ankle sprains. The main question the 49ers should be asking themselves is this: Which quarterback gives us the best chance to win a Super Bowl?
Why Trey Lance
The 49ers are a super bowl ready team right now, and there is a reason why they traded away their future to select Trey Lance 3rd overall. Not recruited by any power five schools, Lance plays with a chip on his shoulder. He had 17 stellar starts with North Dakota State throwing 30 touchdowns and 1 interception.
He has outstanding poise in the pocket, his decision-making is quick and decisive, he doesn’t turn the ball over, and teams are going to have to account for his running ability. Additionally, Lance has a cannon for an arm! To put it simply, there are simply things that Trey Lance can do that Jimmy G can’t.
Furthermore, this is a no-brainer; with one of the best and most creative offensive play-callers in the league in Kyle Shanahan, Trey Lance gives the 49ers the best chance to win a Super Bowl. I can’t think of a better way to prepare Trey Lance than to start him in week 1. The more experience he has under his belt, the better equipped he will be to take the 49er faithful to the promised land.
In the end, time will tell, but no matter what buzz is going around the 49ers, the only opinion that matters in this situation is Kyle Shanahan’s.
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