The San Francisco 49ers made an aggressive move to trade up to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft this offseason and everyone knew that they would target a quarterback. After a couple of years of hoping that Jimmy Garoppolo would take the next step, the team decided to head in a different direction. Following the trade, the only question remaining was, would the 49ers target Trey Lance or Mac Jones with their new first-round pick?
Well, that answer has been given by the franchise. They decided to go with North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the pick. He is the new franchise quarterback in town.
Three (3) 49ers Rookie Predictions for Trey Lance
Lance has received a lot of doubt and criticism throughout the pre-draft process due to playing for a small school and not playing against stiff competition. However, the 49ers loved his football IQ and viewed him as the smartest quarterback in this draft class. His ability as a dual-threat quarterback will also help him fit into head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense well.
He didn’t play much in the 2020 season due to COVID-19, but back in 2019 he put up massive numbers. Lance completed 66.9 percent of his pass attempts for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. In addition to his passing numbers, he racked up 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground.
All of that being said, the 49ers have their man. They are happy with the pick and can’t wait to see what he can do in the future. Let’s take a look at three early predictions for Trey Lance in his rookie season with San Francisco.
3. He Shows Off His Dual-Threat Ability Right Off The Bat
One of the main draws about drafting Lance was his ability to make plays with his legs. Athletic quarterbacks are the direction that many teams are going in recent years. The 49ers have to be excited to see what Lance can do with his legs.
Lance is not going to disappoint his new team. He is plenty athletic and that will be utilized early and often in 2021. The 49ers are going to see him end up rushing for at least 500 yards and five touchdowns.
No, he is never going to be a Colin Kaepernick threat on the ground. Every 49ers fan will remember those times and how dynamic Kaepernick was on his feet. But, the 49ers don’t need him to be that and will be very happy with a consistent threat on the ground from their new quarterback.
2. The 49ers’ Rookie Starts Immediately
Rumors have been swirling that the 49ers are hoping to trade Jimmy Garoppolo at some point during the NFL Draft. That may not end up happening, but it won’t matter much for Lance. He will end up starting from Week 1 and will not look back.
San Francisco did not trade up to the No. 3 overall pick to draft a player that will be stuck on the bench. They traded up to get a player that will make an instant impact. Lance is going to be the immediate starter and there is no question that he will start for the entire season.
Fans are going to be entertained watching this kid play. There may be some growing pains, but he is an excellent pick and will fit perfectly with Shanahan.
1. Lance Throws Fewer Than 12 Interceptions
For those worried about Trey Lance being a turnover machine after not facing a ton of elite defenses in college, the rookie will shut all of those doubts off. Not only will he look much better than the critics are expecting, his numbers will force them to recant their statements. Lance is going to take care of the football at a very high level.
Many rookies struggled adjusting to the speed and pressure of the NFL level. That won’t be the case for Lance. He will end up throwing less than 12 interceptions in his rookie year.
In addition to him throwing less than 12 interceptions, we are also predicting that he will rack up 3,500 passing yards and at least 25 passing touchdowns. Those numbers will put him in contention for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award alongside Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson.