New 49ers quarterback Trey Lance ushers in a new era for the offense.
After so much speculation, intrigue and frankly some lunacy on the part of some NFL Draft analysts who insisted the team was drafting now-New England Patriot quarterback Mac Jones, the San Francisco 49ers have their quarterback of the future in Trey Lance.
But the Niners don’t just have a new quarterback. The selection of Lance ushers in a new era of the Kyle Shanahan offense.
Shanahan’s wizardry means even a quarterback of limited skills can prosper due to the head coach’s ability to scheme players open. We’ve seen former 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens as one such example as a player with limited physical ability but having the intelligence to be productive in the system.
So it should cause every San Francisco fan to salivate uncontrollably to think about what a player with the physical tools Lance possesses could do in this offense.
Physically, Lance brings a lot of upgrades to the table. His arm is an absolute rocket, he has the touch to get those deep balls exactly where they need to be, his legs are an absolute weapon and he has the physicality to even put his shoulder down and truck over defenders who unwisely assume Lance will give them an easy tackle.
In short, Lance has all the tools you could want in a prototypical quarterback in today’s NFL. He’s just like the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen or (dare I say it?) the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
Of course, Allen and Mahomes didn’t become the best quarterbacks in the AFC overnight. The Bills and Chiefs wisely held them away from action until they were ready, and the 49ers likely will take this approach, too. So, unfortunately for those with a want for an immediate impact, you likely won’t get it here.
Mind you, Lance still could make his first start earlier than expected with scouts absolutely raving about his mental acumen for the position.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein noted:
He’s a rare dual-threat quarterback in that he’s tasked with setting his own protections and reading the full field. Coaches rave about his football IQ and film work. They believe he will come into the league more football savvy than most of the quarterbacks in this draft.
When you consider the potency of a healthy Shanahan offense with an athletically limited quarterback, however, Lance can boost what was once an elite offense into an unstoppable one.
All the 49ers need is the patience of the fanbase to allow them to develop a quarterback that will eventually start behind a talented offensive line, two amazing young receivers in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk and a tight end in George Kittle who’s one of the most potent weapons in football.
Add in a running game that will make sure that Lance doesn’t have too much pressure on him too soon, and the ingredients are there.
If the ingredients are given time to simmer and develop, the Niners are going to have something very tasty to finally give them a long-overdue sixth Lombardi Trophy.