3 things Trey Lance must do to steal Jimmy Garoppolo’s job

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Trey Lance (5) and Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers want Trey Lance to take over at quarterback for Jimmy Garoppolo, but it’s not clear when. Here’s what Lance must do to make it happen right away.

The San Francisco 49ers didn’t aggressively trade up to the No. 3 overall spot in the 2021 NFL Draft to make former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance a long-term backup to the incumbent starter, Jimmy Garoppolo.

No, the Niners fully envision Lance being the franchise signal-caller of the future.

There are, perhaps, only two remaining questions that’ll center on what promises to be a high-profile competition between these two during training camp this season.

First, will Lance demonstrate what it takes to be highly successful at the NFL level, thereby justifying San Francisco’s trade-up for him? Second, if so, at what point will head coach Kyle Shanahan make the transition from Jimmy G to Lance?

It could be in 2022, letting Garoppolo play out this season. Perhaps the change comes at some point this year, possibly because of another Garoppolo injury or a streak of poor performances.

But what if Lance somehow shows the ability to start right away?

If this context was to happen, Shanahan wouldn’t hesitate to make the transition. That’s the head coach’s full intent, and moving on from Garoppolo sooner than later would accomplish a lot of other things, such as saving on nearly $23 million of Jimmy G’s 2021 contract hit. For a 49ers team looking to extend star players like linebacker Fred Warner and EDGE Nick Bosa, that’s going to be important.

Lance could feasibly steal the starting job right away this season.

Should this happen, the rookie will need to do these three things.