49ers ‘bust’ risk No. 1: Quarterback Trey Lance
We’re including San Francisco’s future franchise quarterback, Trey Lance, on this list solely because of the importance of him avoiding any “bust” moniker.
Not because of any sheer lack of prowess during his limited time on the field last season.
Granted, Lance showed some growing pains over his two starts and otherwise modest field time in 2021. Yet there were also plenty of positive signs, too, such as the differences between those two starts and the overall command he showed of the offense. Mix that in with his natural skill set and abilities, and there are plenty of reasons to predict Lance being elite.
That all could flame out, though, and it would be a disaster if it did.
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What puts Lance on this list is sheerly due to the 49ers’ lofty investment in him, trading up to No. 3 overall in the 2021 draft by sending away two additional first-round picks, plus a Round 3 selection, to do so. Those all-in moves work great if the player meets desired expectations.
They’re disastrous if they don’t, though.
As the Niners transition away from veteran signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo, Lance’s critics will be louder than ever if the latter flames out.
San Francisco wants the exact opposite to happen.