Schrager: Potential 49ers target Trey Lance is the smartest QB in the draft

Apr 23, 2021 at 9:57 AM--


Trey Lance of North Dakota State is a mystery prospect. He has just 17 career collegiate starts and appeared in just one game this past season due to the pandemic — a non-conference win over Central Arkansas. The performance didn't wow anyone, especially considering it followed an impressive sophomore campaign during which he completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns and no interceptions through 16 games.

Lance has very little experience but is viewed as having enormous upside. He could very well be the No. 3 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers. While the betting favorite remains Mac Jones of Alabama, with the draft less than a week away, most would say that a Lance-to-49ers scenario wouldn't be a shock. Honestly, with all of the inconsistent and rampant speculation over the past few weeks, nothing would be a shock at this point.

Peter Schrager of Good Morning Football still believes the pick will be Jones. However, he wouldn't be surprised to hear Lance's name called after the 49ers turn in their selection. After all, head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have already stated that they plan to keep Jimmy Garoppolo for the upcoming season. That would give someone as raw as Lance a chance to sit and learn, as Kansas City did with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes.

"[H]ere's the thing that I'm hearing a lot about Trey Lance: the smartest quarterback in this draft," Schrager said on Good Morning Football. "Not only the one with the most upside athletically. This kid is apparently a savant, not only on the board but just in general in life. Like, 4.0-student type stuff."

Schrager also shared that the one game in which Lance played last season wasn't just to raise his draft stock.

"The reason, I was told, was because a lot of those guys on his team are on partial scholarships," Schrager explained. "And those partial scholarships are validated if they play the game. ... He's been telling teams, 'I didn't have to play in that game. I was still going to get drafted in the first round because of what I did the year before. But the reason I played was because I wasn't going to lay out my teammates and let them out to dry."

Added Schrager: "I would not be surprised if it's Trey Lance. At this point, I still think it's Mac Jones. I would not be surprised if it's Trey Lance. And I don't think it's going to be Justin Fields. ... We are now [six] days out from the draft. There is no reason the Niners shouldn't just be openly honest, telling, 'Here's who we're taking.' We know who is [No. 1 and No. 2]. They haven't decided, and I don't think it's a slam-dunk right now. I would not be shocked if it's Trey Lance."

Jones, Fields, or Lance? Next week, we'll finally learn the answer.



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