In the history of Trey, there have been a number of experiments resulting in disappointment. In this article I discuss some the reasons why it has been difficult for Trey to maintain momentum since its inception and what can be done going forward to improve upon that trajectory without cheating on its core value proposition.
“The Trey Lance Experiment Has Indeed Been a Disappointment” is an opinion piece that argues about how the “Trey Lance experiment has indeed been a disappointment.”.
To say the least, the San Francisco 49ers’ decision to move up to No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft was divisive. Not only did the deal with the Miami Dolphins cost the 49ers a draft war chest (two first-round selections and a third-round pick), but there was also a feeling of ambiguity about who the front staff was pursuing.
Others imagined the squad picking Ohio State fan favorite Justin Fields, while others assumed they had taken a like to the safe choice of Mac Jones.
The doubt persisted all the way up to draft night, when the 49ers selected Trey Lance, a North Dakota State sensation.
Trey Lance’s first season is yet to officially begin.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images/Trey Lance
Lance’s rookie season has failed to take form despite being the No. 3 overall selection. The big-armed gunslinger started the season as a backup to veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has showed little interest in changing that dynamic anytime soon.
Earlier in the season, Lance was involved in a couple gadget plays. There was, however, nothing of significant importance. Nothing that demonstrated Lance’s arm talent or overall QB aptitude.
With Garoppolo out due to injury, Lance made his first career start against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6. However, we have nothing to rely on when evaluating Lance’s overall ability because of this. Lance threw for 192 yards and an interception on 15 attempts.
On 16 carries, the San Francisco rookie gained an extra 89 yards. His rushing ability, on the other hand, is undeniable. Everyone knows how swift and athletic he is. Lance’s major concern is his accuracy, which he has yet to demonstrate when running an NFL offense.
Trey Lance’s skeptics are starting to show up.
Jimmy Garoppolo and his calf have been removed off the injury list, and he will start against the #Colts. Trey Lance, the backup quarterback, is out with a knee injury.
October 22, 2021 — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet)
Lance has attempted 48 passes in his NFL career. It’s almost hard to predict what kind of quarterback he’ll become. His small sample size, though, isn’t deterring his detractors from doing a victory lap.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk weighed in on Lance and the 49ers’ entire quarterback situation before of their Week 7 game against the Indianapolis Colts, and he wasn’t kind.
All of this isn’t to imply Lance won’t grow up. However, in an era where more and more young quarterbacks arrive in the first round and immediately become starters, the man in whom the 49ers spent three first-round selections and a third-round pick should be starting.
It’s possible that it’s not his fault. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been selected third overall. Shanahan could be better with veterans than with freshmen. Justin Fields or Mac Jones could have been a better third-round choice. Maybe the 49ers pushed the needle too far the other way after passing on Patrick Mahomes in 2017 and told Tom Brady “no thanks” to a homecoming in 2020, going all in when they could have simply remained put…
Maybe Lance will be the franchise’s Joe Montana in the future. Lance’s fingerprints may appear on three or four Lombardi Trophies. For the time being, though, it’s clear that the decision isn’t paying off for a club with Super Bowl hopes in 2021 that has lost three of its first five games and would struggle to even reach the playoffs if they lose a fourth game before Halloween.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio
Lance’s growth should not be rushed by the 49ers.
For the last five months building up to the draft, I’ve been telling everyone that this very, incredibly gifted man needs time but is worth a top five selection.
Week 7 of his first season in the NFL: https://t.co/qltJYiOcpC
October 24, 2021 — Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers)
To put it frankly, Florio’s criticism of Lance and the 49ers’ quarterback room management is unwarranted. In the great scheme of things, Lance is still a high-ceiling prospect, but we’ve seen many of young quarterbacks who were written off in the early stages of their careers bloom into franchise quarterbacks.
During their debut seasons, Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, and Lamar Jackson were all heavily criticized. All three are now serious MVP contenders.
Lance entered the 2021 Draft as a player in need of further development time, which adds to the background of this debate. In college, he was a member of a tiny midwestern school that did not operate an NFL-style offense and only played one organized game in 2020. This is a raw talent who, like Patrick Mahomes when he was initially picked, needs more practice repetitions.
Maybe Lance is a complete and total flop, and the 49ers should have taken Jones or Fields instead. Making such a claim in Week 7 is, however, much too early. There is still a great deal of football to be played.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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The “trey lance college record” is a headline that was published by ESPN. The article discusses how the Trey Lance Experiment has indeed been a disappointment and that he needs to change his approach if he wants to succeed.
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