QB in waiting: What 49ers No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance can learn from previous rookies – San Francisco 49ers Blog

QB in waiting: What 49ers No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance can learn from previous rookies – San Francisco 49ers Blog

The San Francisco 49ers (a.k.a. “SF”) were one of only two teams to select a quarterback in the 2018 NFL draft. SF chose California’s Trey Lance, who was a consensus All-American at the University of Southern California. He had a stellar college career, passing for 13,945 yards and 128 touchdowns, while leading the Trojans to a Pac-12 championship.

For some reason, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan believe they have a franchise quarterback in place in 23-year-old rookie quarterback, 2019 San Francisco 49ers first round draft pick, Trey Lance. The consensus that Lynch and Shanahan have a franchise quarterback in place came from a single tweet by former 49ers’ GM, John Lynch. The tweet was a simple statement of fact: “The fact of the matter is that you have a player like Kyle Shanahan who is a proven offensive coach and John Lynch who has been a proven head coach and you have two proven football minds to come together and you have a quarterback in place.”

The San Francisco 49ers selected North Carolina State quarterback and 49ers third overall pick Trey Lance in this year’s draft. Lance has a long way to go before he is ready for the NFL, but he showed enough to get the Niners’ attention.. Read more about trey lance 49ers pro day and let us know what you think.

SANTA CLARA (California) – Carson Palmer of USC had it everything when he finished his illustrious collegiate career: an Orange Bowl win, All-America accolades, and, of course, the Heisman Trophy.

If that wasn’t enough, Palmer was selected first overall in the 2003 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, a position that came with a $42.69 million deal.

After that, he sat. And I sat there and watched. And then I waited. Palmer had played precisely zero snaps in a regular-season NFL game at the conclusion of his first season.

“You finally get to where you’ve always wanted to go, and for the first time in your career, you have to sit and watch,” Palmer said. “However, if you make the most of that year, it may be very helpful. There’s a lot to be gained and learnt from it. It’s difficult from that perspective, but it’s very important for a young man.”

Palmer is the only quarterback in the top three picks in the common draft period who has never started a game as a rookie. Is Trey Lance about to make history in San Francisco?


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The 49ers are one of three clubs that will have to select when to play their coveted rookie quarterback in the 2021 season. Lance, like Palmer, racked up a slew of collegiate wins and honors, although at the FCS level.

Unlike the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets, who took quarterbacks in the first and second rounds, the Niners aren’t in the midst of a rebuild with new coaching staffs and no proven QB option.

In training camp, the 49ers’ incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo is still working with the starters, and coach Kyle Shanahan has said that Garoppolo will remain the starter unless Lance shows he can offer his team a “better opportunity to win.”

Lance is now working with the backups. But, unlike Palmer, Shanahan has said that Lance will play this season, at least situationally. San Francisco has started to implement a number of plays that take use of Lance’s athleticism.

All of that is part of the equation as the Niners try to strike a careful balance between contending for the Super Bowl this season and preparing for the future.

“Everyone is looking at it,” Shanahan said, “but we’re in a position where I don’t see them competing.” “When you have quarterbacks with a variety of skill sets, it’s simpler for me to compare it to other positions. That’s why I don’t believe it’s an issue on our team. When we’re talking about what we want to accomplish, it’s not an issue.”

Lance’s first goal, as previous highly selected quarterbacks like Palmer, Derek Carr, and Steve Young can testify, should be to make sure he’s doing all he can to guarantee he’s ready when his time comes. Whenever it happens to be.

‘Just take it all in.’

The Bengals selected Carson Palmer first overall in 2003, but he did not play a single snap the following season. Ed Betz/AP Photo

Taking things easy for a rookie quarterback adjusting to the pace, toughness, and intricacy of the NFL sounds like a smart concept, but it seldom works out for guys selected as high as Palmer or Lance.

Teams who pick so high usually don’t have the time or resources to wait. They throw their youngster into the mix in the hopes of catching lightning in a bottle or, at the very least, making enough improvement over the course of the season to convince the fan base (and owner) that things are on the right track.

It’s why 15 of the last 16 top-three quarterbacks have started at least 10 games as a rookie. Palmer credits his time behind Jon Kitna in Cincinnati as crucial to his growth, despite the fact that the concept of sitting and observing was alien to him.


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Whether it was in the conference room, the weight room, the field, or the training room, Palmer was completely devoted to Kitna.

“All I’d do is follow Jon around,” Palmer said. “I kept a close eye on everything he did, attended every meeting I could, and was just as close to him as possible, practically following him about.”

Even for quarterbacks who entered the game straight immediately, like Carr, having a veteran to rely on is just as beneficial as you make it.

Carr, the No. 36 selection in the 2014 draft, started all 16 games for the Oakland Raiders as a rookie. Carr made it a point to learn from veteran Matt Schaub when he came in Oakland.

Carr, like Palmer with Kitna, kept meticulous records on everything Schaub did, down to the precise moment he entered the premises each morning.

Carr, who desired to be seen rather than heard, went out of his way to establish himself as a teammate, hoping that his dedication would make a lasting impact on the company.

“The thing I’d advise any rookie, particularly Trey,” Carr added, “is just soak it up dude.” “You can’t control all that football has in store for you. That is something I can attest to. What you can control, though, is the level of preparation you bring and how productive you can be. So just be a nice teammate at all times. Be a gift to the team, not a hindrance. He might easily be a burden in that position right now, taking focus away from Jimmy and the squad, but I’d simply encourage him to be a gift to that team.”

‘Set yourself up for success’

Getty Images/George Gojkovich

Young was a runner-up for the 1983 Heisman Trophy and was projected to be the No. 1 selection by the Bengals long before he became a Hall of Fame quarterback with the 49ers. Instead of traveling to Cincinnati, Young was drafted 11th in the USFL draft and signed with the Los Angeles Express.

Young eventually made it to the NFL after being chosen first overall in a supplementary USFL and CFL draft in 1985 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He joined a club in Tampa that had gone 8-24 in the two seasons before to his arrival.

Young was 3-16 as the Buccaneers’ starter with little assistance around him.

That is not the situation with Lance in San Francisco, where he is surrounded by an inventive coaching staff, a dynamic collection of weapons, and an offensive line that has five first-round or second-round draft picks.

Young envisions something more similar to the arrangement he had in San Francisco when he ultimately took over for Joe Montana in 1991, given Lance’s athletic abilities and skill set.

“Trey is gifted, intelligent, and mature,” Young added. “All of them are significant jigsaw pieces. And he’s ready for the year 2021. He’s a member of my clan. He’s a mobile individual, and the game is coming to him. It didn’t come to me at the time, but it is now. As a result, he’s in a good position to succeed.”

That doesn’t mean Young thinks Lance will have an easy time. Lance only appeared in 17 games at North Dakota State, where he didn’t play against much quality opposition. Though Young is quick to point out that Shanahan and general manager John Lynch made their intentions obvious by moving up to No. 3 to select Lance, there’s still a lot for Lance to show.

Young said, “He simply hasn’t been out there too often.” “They selected him because they believe he has all of the necessary qualifications to carry out the mission. And he’ll have every chance because he’s surrounded by a fantastic coach, a terrific system, and a very good football club.”

Waiting patiently

Trey Lance was destined to be the Niners’ starting quarterback from the minute he was selected, and it was only a matter of time until he did. Josie Lepe/AP Photo

Lance has received high praise from teammates and coaches for both his on-field performance and his desire to work throughout the first two weeks of camp. According to NBC Sports, the 49ers keep track of how much time their players spend on their iPad playbooks, and Lance has spent the most time on his.

Of course, for a rookie quarterback, this is to be anticipated. What’s more significant is Lance’s willingness to perform the things that people like Palmer, Carr, and Joe Theismann say are crucial in establishing his bearings in the NFL.

Most importantly, patience, establishing a relationship with Garoppolo, and figuring out how to blend in while sticking out.

Lance said, “I feel a lot better.” “It helps a lot to go through something and learn it, then take some time away and sort of re-learn it on my own, and then come back and do it again, truly learning it the third time around. And that helps a lot, having a good connection with my colleagues now, feeling more at ease here and being able to ask questions.”

It was always going to be a question of when, not if, Lance became the Niners’ starting quarterback from the time he was selected. Is he capable of sitting behind Garoppolo for the whole season and jumping in on pre-planned plays? Sure, but given the history of prior highly selected quarterbacks as well as Garoppolo’s injury problems, it’s doubtful.

If it happens, former NFL MVP Theismann thinks Lance should stick close to Shanahan as he calls plays and join Palmer’s elite club.

“It served Patrick [Mahomes] extremely well in Kansas City behind Alex [Smith],” Theismann added. “It served him well in Green Bay, as much as AR [Aaron Rodgers] may not want to acknowledge it. I believe that being able to see what the other men are doing is very beneficial.”

As we approach the 2018 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers have the third overall pick in the draft. That means they are in the position to draft a quarterback who could one day start for them in the future. However, the team has not drafted a quarterback since 2012 when they selected Alex Smith with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. What QBs have been drafted since then? See what 49ers fans can learn from those other starting QBs.. Read more about trey lance comparison and let us know what you think.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • 49ers draft
  • 49ers news
  • 49ers rumors
  • san francisco 49ers roster
  • 49ers news today
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