49ers roster: 4 young players who give San Francisco hope for future

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers. Mandatory Credit: Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports /

1. 49ers Quarterback Trey Lance

Trey Lance was drafted to be the future of the 49ers.

His strong, agile build and dual-threat playmaking ability make him the perfect mold for a modern-day quarterback. The 21 year-old out of North Dakota State got his first start for San Francisco in Week 5 after getting minimal touches in earlier weeks. He threw for just under 200 yards and no scores. With one touchdown, one interception, and an additional 133 rushing yards on the season, Lance is doing a lot better than some of his draft class counterparts at QB.

Shanahan has committed to starting Jimmy Garoppolo under center when he’s healthy. As Lance is dealing with a knee injury, it looks like he won’t make an appearance against the Bears this week.

In a slew of bad decisions by Shanahan, holding off on starting Lance might be one of his least punishable offenses. Rookie quarterbacks need a strong supporting staff on offense to help them develop and build confidence without so much pressure to be the savior. They also need a coach who knows how to call plays that push them out of their comfort zone enough to grow, while still capitalizing on their strengths.

The 49ers can offer Lance neither.

Let Garoppolo take the hard hits and all the blame for now. Throwing him to the wolves, especially if San Francisco falls out of playoff contention, puts him at unnecessary risk and could have long-term consequences for the young player. Look what is happening to Justin Fields.

Lance is worth too much to be an experiment.

Regardless of when Lance gets his opportunity, just knowing the height of his ceiling is enough to keep the faith in the future of the 49ers franchise.

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