49ers Young Player No. 4: Quarterback Trey Lance
It’s simple to put rookie quarterback Trey Lance on this list, if for no other reason than he needs practical field time to hone his development en route to becoming the team’s starter in the near future.
In all likelihood, though, head coach Kyle Shanahan is going to stick with his veteran under center, Jimmy Garoppolo, yet that doesn’t necessarily rule out the idea Lance could revert back to being in on those specially designed packages seen earlier this season.
Interestingly enough, Lance hasn’t taken the field since his Week 5 start against the Arizona Cardinals, which resulted in a knee injury but shouldn’t have been a factor for Shanahan’s depth-chart decisions the last two weeks.
Garoppolo is coming off two of his best performances in back-to-back weeks, yes, but that means nothing for the future of the franchise. If anything, the overall “flatness” San Francisco’s offense is experiencing regardless of how well Jimmy G has played as of late opens up the door for Lance to make an impact.
And gain some practical, on-field exposure under the bright lights of prime-time football against one of the best defenses in the league.
Why not kickstart that process now?