2021 NFL Draft: 49ers add quarterback of the future in Trey Lance

Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /

After trading multiple first-round picks to move up to No. 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers found their future in North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

Moving up to draft a quarterback is always a risky move. But for a team like the 49ers, with weapons on both sides of the ball? That’s being coached by Kyle Shanahan? If any franchise was, “a quarterback away,” it was this one.

The quarterback with the highest upside in the 2021 NFL Draft is undoubtedly Trey Lance. Whether that’s a good thing or not, is for the teams to decide — and the 49ers believe in him. For the future sake of the franchise, though, it better work out.

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They traded two future first-round picks and swapped the No. 12 pick to move up and grab the North Dakota State product.

That’s quite a haul for a guy who played in the FCS. I’m not saying it’s a bad pick, or even that Lance won’t be great, but that’s a lot of draft capital for a player who might be a project.

Plenty of rookie quarterbacks play early on, though, but to move up – to No. 3 (!) – and to sit him? Makes me feel like Lance will see the field sooner rather than later.

During his lone, full season as the starter for the Bison, Lance threw for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns, in addition to 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. He didn’t throw a single interception, either. Who else can say that?

San Franciso took Lance after making a last-minute run at Aaron Rodgers, according to reports. The Niners offered up the third overall pick, along with other assets in a trade for Rodgers, who is reportedly unhappy in Green Bay and wants out.

But the deal didn’t happen and now the Niners have their own young quarterback in Lance.