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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Rival coach offers troubling Trey Lance assessment

Trey Lance on the field

Dec 19, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) smiles after defeating the Atlanta Falcons at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to trade Jimmy Garoppolo at some point prior to the start of the season, and at least one rival coach believes they will be making a major mistake if and when that happens.

Mike Sando of The Athletic conducted his annual poll of 50 NFL coaches and executives to determine where they think all of the league’s veteran potential starting quarterbacks rank in terms of tiers, with Tier 1 being the highest and Tier 5 being the lowest. Garoppolo ended up near the top of Tier 3 and 16th overall out of 35 quarterbacks. Trey Lance ranked 29th overall, which places him well into Tier 4. Most of that has to do with the fact that coaches and talent evaluators have very little NFL tape on the former North Dakota State star.

One coach whose team is scheduled to face the Niners this season is hoping Garoppolo is traded. Said coach believes Lance would be a major downgrade from Jimmy G.

“That would be like my early Christmas present if they just get rid of Jimmy, so that way he can’t play for them, and then make Trey be your guy,” the coach told Sando.

Another coach said Lance has “a little Tim Tebow to him” with his long delivery and poor mechanics. Most voters seemed to agree that Lance did not look ready to be an NFL starter in the opportunities he got last season.

The 49ers invested a great deal in Lance when they traded up to draft him. They know they are 25-12 with Garoppolo as their starter and have made deep playoff runs with him. They may also understand that they could take a step back if they turn things over to Lance. That is a risk Kyle Shanahan and company are willing to take in order to start properly developing a player they believe can be a franchise cornerstone.


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