49ers training camp: 5 biggest battles to watch in 2021
By Peter Panacy
49ers training camp battle No. 1: Starting quarterback
All the other training camp battles in 2021 pale in comparison to the one all Niners fans and the media will talk about this summer: Who wins the starting quarterback bout?
San Francisco didn’t move up to No. 3 overall in this year’s draft to select a quarterback, Trey Lance, only to let him sit behind Jimmy Garoppolo if the former has shown enough to be ready to go right away.
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Yet Garoppolo has the advantage of understanding Kyle Shanahan’s offense. And even if the 49ers are planning to move on from Jimmy G at some point, they’d probably like to trade him and recoup whatever draft value they can get in return.
Doing so in the wake of Garoppolo losing a starting bid won’t help his value much, but it’s anyone’s guess how that plays out.
Lance, meanwhile, could showcase his impressive athletic skill set, giving Shanahan an entirely different element to the Niners offense not seen since the head coach took over in 2017.
If Lance closes the gap between himself and Garoppolo to the point where both quarterbacks give San Francisco an equal shot at winning games, it’ll be an easy choice: Lance is in, Garoppolo is out.
And you’ll hear no shortage of storylines, analyses and predictions until that final decision is made.