D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Fowler shares what the 49ers are looking to see from Trey Lance at rookie minicamp

May 15, 2021 at 11:35 AM--

This weekend is the first opportunity for the 2021 San Francisco 49ers draft class to get on the practice field with a few new teammates. The team is holding its three-day rookie minicamp, consisting of 23 players and including the eight drafted rookies. The No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance, is the only quarterback taking part.

The three sessions, the second of which takes place this afternoon, are the first opportunity for coaches to get a glimpse of the rookies in a 49ers helmet. The real work will start on May 24, when organized team activities begin. For now, it is a chance for the newest Niners to familiarize themselves with the coaches and facilities.

Lance has not appeared in a game since October 3, 2020. It was his only action since January 11, 2020 — 490 days ago. What can San Francisco's coaches expect from the quarterback, who has been eager to get back onto the football field — even for a practice?

RELATED 49ers QB Trey Lance eagerly acclimating to life in the NFL and the Bay Area

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler weighed in on SportsCenter.

"According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler on SportsCenter, the Niners 'just want to see how [Lance] handles a pretty complicated offense with a lot of long, play call verbiage,' wrote Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report. "Fowler then added that the 49ers 'want to see how good of a guy he is in person,' after being told during the pre-draft process that people 'gravitate' toward Lance."

For now, Jimmy Garoppolo is slated to be the 49ers' starting quarterback. However, the team surrendered a haul of future picks to move up to draft Lance, who the Niners hope can take the reins at some point.

Garoppolo's presence creates less urgency for Lance to take over. The rookie is in the unique situation of being a high draft pick who isn't necessarily depended on to contribute immediately. Lance can sit and learn as Garoppolo leads what many consider to be a championship-ready roster.

RELATED 'They're awesome': Trey Lance discusses finally meeting Jimmy Garoppolo, other 49ers QBs

There is the added benefit that Lance's presence could push Garoppolo, too. But the veteran is the starter for now.

"I want Jimmy to be here, and I want this kid to be brought along," head coach Kyle Shanahan said after drafting Lance. "I want to see how he does. And if it turns into a competition, it turns into a competition. I'd be excited about that, if he showed he was ready for it and stuff. But we know where Jimmy is at."

Added Shanahan on the Rich Eisen Show: "Jimmy's definitely our starter right now. Right now, there isn't competition because I don't believe Trey would be in a position to compete. Jimmy is too good of a player, has too good of a grasp of our offense. He'll start out OTAs running, like he's done before, and he'll be the starting quarterback."

The rookie quarterback has spent much of his time since the draft learning the 49ers playbook and getting up to speed as quickly as possible.

"The playbook was fun," Lance told reporters on Friday. "I've been looking forward to learning a new playbook, and obviously, it's an NFL playbook, so it's going to be a lot. But for me, I've been waiting to learn a new playbook for the last seven-eight months, so it was a ton of fun to finally be able to get into it."

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